Maria ScaperlandaMaría Ruiz Scaperlanda is an award-winning author, journalist and retreat facilitator. She has been published broadly in both the Catholic and secular press, traveling on international assignments in Central America and the Caribbean, Israel, Turkey and throughout Europe. María blogs at She and her husband reside in Norman, Oklahoma.

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From OSV

Father Stanley RotherFr. Stanley Rother arrived in Guatemala in 1968, and immediately identified with his parishioners' simple, farming lifestyle. He learned their languages, prepared them for the Sacraments, and cared for their needs. Fr. Stanley, or "Padre Francisco" as he was called by his beloved Tz'utujil Indians, had found his heart's calling.

After nearly a decade, the violence of the Guatemalan civil war found its way into the peaceful village. Disappearances, killings, and danger became daily occurrences, but despite this unrest Fr. Stanley remained hard at work, building a farmer's co-op, a school, a hospital, and the first Catholic radio station, used for catechesis.

In early 1981, his name was on a death list, so he returned to Oklahoma and was warned not to return. But he could not abandon his people, so he went back, and made the ultimate sacrifice for his faith.

Pope Francis has recognized the matyrdom of Fr. Stanley, making him the first martyr born in the United States. On March 13, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced that he will be beatified on September 23, 2017, in Oklahoma City.

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