His new feast day is celebrated on July 28.
Described as an “ordinary” priest, Stanley Rother was officially recognized in 2017 as the first martyr of the Catholic Church born in the United States. His beatification drew a crowd of some 20,000 in Oklahoma City and now many will be celebrating his feast day on July 28 each year.
According to Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda, his biographer, “He was a farmer from Okarche, Oklahoma, who served the Church as a devoted priest both here and in the Oklahoma mission in Santiago Atitlán — where he literally farmed the Guatemalan fields side by side with his parishioners.”
His name was eventually put on a “death list” in Guatemala for his missionary activities, and he was gunned down by militants at the age of 46.
Rother’s life was a shinning example of holiness and he left many profound words for us to ponder. Here is a short selection of quotes from this faithful shepherd.
1Keep our heads down
“What can we do but our work, keep our heads down, preach the gospel of love and non-violence, etc.”
“A nice compliment was given to me recently…’Father is defending the people’.”
“Pray for us that we may be a sign of the love of Christ for our people, that our presence among them will fortify them to endure these sufferings in preparation for the coming of the Kingdom.”
“The prayer from last Sunday’s (3rd Sunday of Advent) gospel meant a lot to me. ‘And the poor have the good news preached to them.’ So be it.”