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Remembering Salvadoran Martyrs

Twenty years ago today, in the morning hours, U.S.-trained military personnel of the El Salvadoran government assaulted the Jesuit residence at the University of Central America, in San Salvador, killing eight people – six Jesuit faculty and leadership of the university, the housekeeper, and her 16-year old daughter.

President Mauricio Fuñes announced earlier this month that the priests would receive the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado – the nation’s highest honor – in a national service of atonement today. It was not clear if Celina and Julia Elba would likewise be honored, though I certainly hope so. The U.S. Congress also passed a resolution honoring “these eight spiritual, courageous and generous priests, educators and laywomen” and encouraging commemorations of the anniversary.

We remember today:

Julia Elba Ramos, 42,
cook and housekeeper for the Jesuit seminarians at the university

Celina Mariset, 16,
Ramos’ daughter

Ignacio Ellacuria, SJ, 59,
Rector of University of Central America

Ignacio Martin-Maro, SJ, 44,
Vice-Rector and Director of the UCA Public Opinion Institute

Segundo Montes, SJ, 56,
Dean of the department of social sciences

Amando Lopez, SJ, 53,
professor of theology and philosophy

Juan Ramon Moreno, SJ, 56,
professor of theology

Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, SJ, 71,
founder and director of Fe y Alegria (Faith and Joy),
which opened thirty educational centers in communities throughout El Salvador

Martyred November 16, 1989
El Salvador

The developed world is not at all the desired utopia,
even as a way to overcome poverty, much less to overcome injustice.
Indeed, it is a sign of what should not be and of what should not be done.

We must turn this sinful history upside down, and out of poverty
we must build a civilization in which all can have life and dignity.

– Ignacio Ellacuria, SJ

(Thanks to Catholic Anarchy  for the icon and prayer!)


1 Comment

  1. 4854derrida says:


    I’ve just uploaded two rare interviews with the Catholic activist Dorothy Day. One was made for the Christophers [1971]–i.e., Christopher Closeup– and the other for WCVB-TV Boston [1974].

    Day had begun her service to the poor in New York City during the Depression with Peter Maurin, and it continued until her death in 1980. Their dedication to administering to the homeless, elderly, and disenfranchised continues with Catholic Worker homes in many parts of the world.

    Please post or announce the availability of these videos for those who may be interested in hearing this remarkable lay minister.

    They may be located here:

    Thank you

    Dean Taylor

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