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Pope Francis recalls heroic witness of Bl. Stanley Rother at Angelus address

Archdiocese of OKC

Francis praised the newly beatified martyr from Oklahoma, encouraging everyone to follow his example.

During yesterday’s Angelus, Pope Francis’ singled out the life of newly beatified US priest and martyr, Stanley Rother, as an example to live by. Rother had been beatified the day before — on Saturday, September 23 — in front of a packed convention center of the faithful.

Pope Francis said, “[Yesterday], in Oklahoma City, the missionary priest, Stanley Francis Rother, killed in hatred of the faith for his work of evangelization, and work to promote the human dignity of the poorest people in Guatemala, was proclaimed Blessed. May his heroic example help us to be courageous witnesses to the Gospel, committed to working [on] behalf of the dignity of man.”

The Holy Father also commented on a similar theme of working for others found in the Sunday’s Gospel, saying, “in the Kingdom of God there are no idle hands, all are called to do their part; and for all, at the end, the recompense shall be what comes from divine justice – not human justice, happily – i.e. the salvation that Jesus Christ has acquired with His death and resurrection. This is a salvation that is not merited, but given, for which, ‘The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.’”

Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, had acted as Pope Francis’ delegate for Rother’s beatification ceremony and said during his homily, “In a time of great turbulence in Guatemala, Fr. Rother lived as a disciple. Everyone admired his ability to serve and work together … He didn’t hate, but loved. He didn’t destroy, but built up. This is Blessed Stanley Rother’s invitation to us.”

July 28 was chosen as Blessed Rother’s feast day, the same day that he was killed for the faith.

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