Deep Dive: The beatification of Rutilio Grande, El Salvador’s first martyr-priest

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In 1977, driving on a rural, dusty road between Aguilares and El Paisnal, a Jesuit priest named Rutilio Grande S.J. was shot and killed by El Salvador’s government security forces. The assassination helped escalate a bloody period of civil war in which Catholics like Oscar Romero (1985), six Jesuits at the Central American University in San Salvador (1989), and four American churchwomen (1980) were martyred. While Romero became a Catholic household name and celebrated saint, not many know the story of his friend and fellow priest, Rutilio Grande S.J.

That’s about to change. On January 22, 2022, Rutilio Grande will be beatified, after his cause for canonization was delayed by what Pope Francis called “misunderstandings and slander.”

In this “Inside the Vatican” deep dive, host Colleen Dulle talks with scholars, friends and relatives of Grande to learn what inspired this Jesuit’s ministry among the people which led, ultimately, to his martyrdom.

Read more:

Father Rutilio Grande: the (future) patron saint of breaking mental health stigma?

Padre Tío Tilo: Rutilio Grande’s niece talks about her childhood with her martyred uncle

4 lessons from Rutilio Grande, priest, prophet and martyr

Eileen Markey’s book: A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sr. Maura

Sr. Ana Maria Pineda’s book: Rutilio Grande, Memory and Legacy of a Jesuit Martyr

Rodolfo Cardenal’s book: The Life, Passion, and Death of the Jesuit Rutilio Grande

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