Atitlan (Agenzia Fides) - It is official, Pope Francis yesterday, 2 December 2016 recognized the martyrdom of Father Stanley Rother of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City (USA), making him the first martyr who was born in the United States. The recognition of his martyrdom opens the path for his beatification.
Stanley Rother known as father Aplas (Oklahoma 1935 - Guatemala, 1981) was an American diocesan priest who went on a mission in Guatemala. Rother was pastor of Santiago Atitlan, Solola (Guatemala). He arrived in Guatemala in 1968 as a missionary, and drove his Chevrolet from Oklahoma to Guatemala. He settled in the region and learned Spanish and Tzutuhil.
He was a parish priest in Santiago Atitlán for 13 years, and in addition to his pastoral duties, he translated the New Testament in Tzutuhil and started the regular celebration of the Mass in that same language. He left the country because of armed conflict but soon after he returned to give his support to parishioners. He was killed in the rectory of his parish on 28 July 1981. He was one of the 10 priests murdered in Guatemala that year. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 03/12/2016)