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Guatemalan church honors saintly priest killed 40 years ago


Jose de Jesus Churion Del | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 02/02/24

Father Augusto Ramírez Monasterio was killed in 1983, in part due to his refusal to break the seal of the confessional.
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The 1980s witnessed the murder of several priests in Guatemala, such as Bl. Stanley Rother. They were killed for their faithfulness to the Catholic faith and for not cooperating with the oppressive regime at the time.

Among the priests killed by Guatemalan “security forces” was Franciscan priest Father Augusto Ramírez Monasterio. He was killed on November 6, 1983, shot to death by “unknown” forces.

Recently the local church in Guatemala celebrated the 40th anniversary of his martyrdom, recalling his heroic example.

He was known to the people as a holy priest who would spend hours in the confessional. His devotion to the sacrament of confession would eventually lead to his death.

According to the National Catholic Register,an individual went to confession to Father Augusto and confessed his sin, while also seeking amnesty from the government.

The government was not interested in offering amnesty, but wanted to know what the individual confessed, trying to get Father Augusto to reveal it.

Later accounts showed that Friar Augusto had been tortured by his military captors, who stripped and strung him up by his wrists, subjecting him to beatings and burns. Several ribs were broken. But he refused to reveal what Coroy had told him, safeguarding the sacrament of confession. 

Later hat same year, Father Augusto was hunted down and killed.

Since then he has been locally known as a “martyr,” and, “In 2006, Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruño began the beatification process on the basis of martyrdom. In an interview with the Register, Friar Edwin revealed that he is assured that Friar Augusto’s cause is advancing at the Vatican after the local Church recently commemorated the 40th anniversary of his death.”

Father Augusto may join Bl. Stanley Rother someday as a recognized “martyr” of the Church.

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