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Catholics look at photographs of Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera, center, and Rev. Francis Stanley Rother, left, a Catholic missionary from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma who was assassinated in 1981, in Guatemala City, Tuesday, April 22, 2003. Gerardi was killed in Guatemala City in April 1998, days after presenting a lengthy report blaming the military for 80 percent of the deaths during the country's 1960-1996 civil war. Man in the photograph on the right is unidentified. The sign reads "Witnesses of Faith for Peace." (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

The Pope named America's first official martyr


An Oklahoma City priest killed in Guatemala in 1981 while working as a missionary has moved one step closer to being named a saint after Pope Francis declared him the first-ever official American martyr, reports USA Today

Rev. Stanley Rother was a missionary in Guatemala for 15 years before being shot during the country's civil war. Rother was one of many priests killed during the conflict. 

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City posted this to their Twitter page. 

Rother is America's first official martyr. Pope Francis signed the declaration on Thursday, and the Vatican announced it on Friday. 

Rother was determined to have died as a direct cause of hatred of the faith of Christianity and therefore was eligible for consideration. 

Many on social media are happy about the announcement. 


For more, check out the 60 Second Circa. 

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