As the 22nd anniversary of the assassination of the 6 Jesuits and 2 women approaches, we should take time to join in solidarity with our Salvadoran friends who have already begun commemorating the lives of these martyrs. A mass and vigil was held Saturday night to remember and honor the lives of these individuals and also to encourage others to live their lives in imitation of Jesus as the martyrs did.
The following is a translated article from DiarioCoLatino that discusses the impact of their assassination and how it is still important today, 22 years later.
"Our martyrs, killed for acting like Jesus " :Rector Oliva
Ivan EscobarDiario Co Latino Writing
The courage to denounce, at a time when El Salvador was at one of its darkest times, and have a critical vision, especially attached to defending the rights of the majority, were some of the reasons why the "power" decided end the lives of two women and six Jesuit priests, the night of November 16, 1989.
22 years have passed since that tragic event occurred, a slaughter committed by a group of soldiers, who received the Order of Staff, held amid the shadows of the night, and a society convulsed, the vilest murder .
At that time, the guerrillas drove the General Offensive "all the way" and in a desperate measure, the military, through terror, wanted to stop the momentum of the guerrillas. At first, they blamed the FMLN murderers, and even formed a committee to report it internationally.But also, after 22 years of collective murder, justice has started to turn in favor of the victims. And in Spain, a judge kept open a trial against a group of soldiers who ordered the slaughter, with the consent of former President Alfredo Cristiani. In the past month, the judge who took the case, has requested the Government of Spain to ask El Salvador for their extradition in order to judge them in that European nation.
Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas, Archbishop of San Salvador, said Sunday that "as a church we are the victim in the slaughter of the Jesuits, they were our priests and as many who have lost loved ones in this war, and even worse, because they were slaughtered ... we are seeking justice and truth. "He urged those who "committed the murder, we ask you ... do not seek to obstruct justice, this process in Spain, we leave in the hands of justice."
On Saturday night, in the Central American University "Jose Simeon Cañas" (UCA), the religious communities in different parts of the country and from different nations remembered their martyrs: the six Jesuit priests, Ignacio Ellacuria, then rector of the UCA, Ignacio Martin-Baro, vice rector academic, Segundo Montes, Director of the Institute of Human Rights of the UCA, Juan Ramon Moreno, Director of the Library of Theology, Amando Lopez, Professor of Philosophy, Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, founder University, and the collaborators Elba and Celina Ramos.
The cold night did not stop hundreds of people who came to be participants in the commemoration, which began with the traditional procession of lanterns, continued with Mass and ended with the vigil.
The priest Andreu Oliva, rector of the UCA, urged people to "imitate the Salvadoran martyrs" before, during and after armed conflict, to continue dying for the sole reason "to imitate Jesus."
In his message, called the inner peace, combat the root of the problems faced by Salvadorans, like crime, poverty, unemployment and the collapse of the prison system, among others,
"The Martyrs of El Salvador were taken seriously for committing these words ... as Jesus, defend the poor, denouncing sin ... for all this cost them their lives, for the love of neighbor," stressed the religious, in a crowd people, mostly young people who gathered at the traditional day that ended at dawn on Sunday.
Archbishop Escobar Alas, recalled yesterday that "they had a vision of peace."
"True servants of Christ"The priest Sariego Jesus, the Jesuit Provincial for Central America, arrived Sunday to the Crypt of the Cathedral, to officiate at the Mass in honor of anniversaries religious assassinated in 1989.
At Mass, the priest said that the murdered Jesuits "were true servants of Christ, who never deserved to die." He added that as Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the UCA martyrs "believed in this town. They loved this town ... under this poverty was a treasure that was worth it to leave (his) talent, "he said.