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Archdiocese announces beatification date for Oklahoma priest


  • The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced that one its native sons, Father Stanley Rother, a North American priest who worked in Guatemala and was brutally murdered there in 1981, will be beatified Sept. 23 in Oklahoma. Father Rother is pictured in an undated file photo. (CNS photo/Charlene Scott)
  • Father Stanley Rother, a priest of the Oklahoma City Archdiocese who was brutally murdered in 1981 in the Guatemalan village where he ministered to the poor, is shown baptizing a child in this undated photo. The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced the North American priest will be beatified Sept. 23 in Oklahoma. (CNS)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced that one its native sons, Father Stanley Rother, a North American priest who worked in Guatemala and was brutally murdered there in 1981, will be beatified Sept. 23 in Oklahoma.

"It's official! Praised be Jesus Christ! Archbishop Coakley received official word this morning from Rome that Servant of God Father Stanley Rother will be beatified in Oklahoma City in September!" the archdiocese announced March 13 on its website.

Pope Francis recognized Father Rother's martyrdom last December, making him the first martyr born in the United States.

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, also tweeted the news about the priest born near Okarche, Oklahoma on a family farm: "Just received notification of the date for the beatification of Fr. Stanley Rother, Oklahoma priest, missionary and martyr. September 23!"

In an interview published March 13 by The Oklahoman daily newspaper, Archbishop Coakley said Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, will be representing the pope at the beatification ceremony in Oklahoma City. It will take the priest one step closer to sainthood. In general, following beatification, a miracle attributed to the intercession of the person being considered for sainthood is required for that person to be declared a saint.

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