Jesuit Father Rutilio Grande will be beatified on 22 January 2022 along with laymen Manuel Solórzano and Nelson Rutilio Lemus. The three martyrs were gunned down in Las Tres Cruces, a few kilometres from San Salvador, on 12 March 1977.
Father Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, has written a letter to the whole Society, asking us to give thanks to God for the gift of life of these three men who were known for their friendliness and were well respected in each of their communities. Father Sosa says ‘that their lives were taken because of the faith that gave their lives meaning, the faith to which they gave witness by shedding their blood.’
Father Grande was a good man, helpful and approachable to those who dealt with him, says Fr Sosa. ‘The peasant communities, to which he himself belonged and which he served with dedication as a pastor, found in him a warm, self-sacrificing and kind religious, ordained a priest to share life with the community of the followers of Jesus who bear witness to the Good News.’
Manuel Solórzano, the eldest of the three, was ‘beloved for his kindness and unfailing honesty’ and ‘became an inseparable companion on Father Rutilio’s pastoral journeys.’
The youngest, Nelson Rutilio Lemus, was only 16 when he was martyred. He was known to have a special sense of responsibility and was seen as active and helpful. Nelson, says Fr Sosa, ‘had family ties with Father Grande but, even more, a friendship born of shared service to the mission of the Lord.’
Father Arturo Sosa asks us all to reflect on the lives of these three men, and to be inspired by the faith of the El Salvadoran people and their efforts to ‘make possible a just society with a worthy place for everyone’.
The beatification celebration will be streamed live on YouTube by Televisión Católica El Salvador TVCA on Sunday 23 January at 10:00 am AEST. Please note, due to the live stream in Spanish, it is likely that English closed captions will be unavailable.
Read Father Arturo Sosa’s full letter to the Society
Read Father Rutilio Grande SJ’s – Summarium Vitae
Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash
Please ensure that English subtitles/closed captions (cog settings icon) and closed captions (CC icon) are selected in the YouTube players below.