.- Pope Francis has recognized the martyrdom of Father Stanley Rother, a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City who served in Guatemala, making him the first martyr to have been born in the United States.
“Servant of God Fr. Stanley Rother has been approved for beatification!” Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City announced on Facebook Dec. 2. “He is the first US born martyr and priest to receive this official recognition from the Vatican! And of course the first from Oklahoma!”
Pope Francis had met with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Dec. 1, approving decrees for several causes of canonization.
Together with that of Fr. Rother, the Pope recognized the martyrdoms of Fr. Vicete Queralt Llloret and 20 companions, killed in the Spanish Civil War, and Archbishop Teofilius Matulionis of Kaišiadorys, a Lithuanian killed by the Soviets in 1962. Also acknowledged were a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Giovanni Schiavo and the heroic virtue of eight Servants of God.
Fr. Rother was from the unassuming town of Okarche, Okla., where the parish, school and farm were the pillars of community life. He went to the same school his whole life and lived with his family until he left for seminary.
Read more at Catholic News Agency.