November 16, 2019, marks the 30th anniversary of the murder of six Jesuits and two of their companions at the University of Central America in El Salvador. People across the Jesuit and Ignatian community are commemorating this anniversary and reflecting on the lives and legacies of these martyrs.

Leaning about the social and political circumstances that led to their deaths is important, insofar as we are able to see how these men and women responded to the heart of God and the cry of the poor. They saw the suffering of the world as God sees it — through eyes focused on love and justice — they discerned their response, and they acted. Their faithful witness should inspire us to align our hearts to God's in compassion for the poor and a desire for justice, and then to respond by promoting justice in the world today.

Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., one of the Salvadoran martyrs, believed that poor, suffering, and marginalized people are particularly close to Jesus. They suffer the effects of sin like Jesus did on the cross — they are a "crucified people."

In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius invites us to pray by placing ourselves at the foot of the cross and reflecting on three questions:

  1. What have I done for Christ?
  2. What am I doing for Christ?
  3. What ought I do for Christ?

Spend some time reflecting on who the "crucified people" are today, and then put yourself at the foot of the cross and talk to Jesus.

(Adapted from "The Ignatian Adventure" by Kevin O'Brien, S.J. Click here for more info about the Colloquy.)  

The Salvadoran Martyrs and Their Legacy for Justice
(Ignatian Solidarity Network)

Read this short article about these Jesuits and their companions, the work they did in education and service to the poor, and the message they preached.

Click here to

A Faith That Does Justice: The History and Legacy of the Jesuit Martyrs and Their Companions

(Ignatian Solidarity Network)

"The lives and loss of these martyrs have significantly influenced the Ignatian family in the United States and throughout the world. Over the past 30 years, Jesuit institutions have redefined what it is to be universities, high schools, parishes, etc. in light of the martyrs, discerning new ways of addressing issues of social justice."

Click here to

The Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador: Lessons to the Faithful

(The Jesuit Post)

"As we commemorate the anniversary of this tragic event today, what lessons can we learn from these modern day martyrs?"
  1. The Gospel is dangerous: now as much as ever.
  2. Our faith should inform our life and work.

Click here to

Blood of the Martyrs

"On November 16, 1989, six Jesuits and two women were brutally murdered in El Salvador by US trained and funded commandos of the Salvadoran army. This is their story."

Click here to watch the trailer...
Click here to watch the full documentary on Amazon...

A Faith that Does Justice (Creighton University)

"Six Jesuits were brutally killed in the University of Central America in El Salvador were actively engaged in finding a peaceful solution to a destructive and violent civil war. They are advocates for those who were most affected by the war, the poor and the marginalized. Today, their struggle for justice shapes the mission of all Jesuit universities in the US."

Click here to watch this short video...

Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (Ignatian Solidarity Network)

"From November 16-18, virtually join 2000+ members of the Ignatian network gathered at the 22nd annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ).

IFTJ is an annual gathering for members of the Ignatian family (Jesuit institutions and broader church) to gather in the context of social justice and solidarity to learn, reflect, pray, network, and advocate together.

Now in its 22nd year, the IFTJ has a rich history rooted in honoring the Jesuits and their companions who were martyred in El Salvador in 1989. Join ISN throughout the weekend by tuning into the FREE livestream, provided by America Media."

Click here to participate live online...

A Faith that Does Justice: The History and Legacy of the Jesuit Martyrs

(Igantian Solidarity Network)

This activity created by the Ignatian Solidarity Network is meant to accompany their article titled "The Salvadoran Martyrs and Their Legacy for Justice." The activity invites groups — at your school, your church, etc. — to reflect on the work of the Salvadoran Jesuits for justice for the poor, the social and political circumstances of their situation, and the analogues exist in our society today.

(While this activity is intended for groups, it is also a useful guide for individual reflection.)

Click here for ISN's group activity...

Volunteer with Magis Americas

Magis Americas supports and accompanies Jesuit partners in the Global South, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, as they strive toward the construction of just, dignified and equitable societies. Magis Americas promotes sustainable and impactful responses to the injustices faced by those living at the margins. Magis focuses on three main issues: education, migration, and ecology.

You can help by becoming a volunteer!

Become aware of God's presence and give thanks.

I focus on God's presence with me today and in this time of prayer. I express gratitude to God for the many blessings I have received, in particular that I live in a society where I can express the fullness of my faith without fear of violent persecution.

Review the day.

What did I do today? What happened — in my life, in my community, in the news? Did I encounter anyone who is poor or marginalized? What was my response? What emotions did I feel, and where was God in these encounters — was I angry, sad, indifferent?

I also think back to what I have learned today about the Salvadoran martyrs. I reflect on how they gave their lives in being faithful to the Gospel. What about there story do I find particularly inspiring, and why? Who do I see as the "crucified people" in my own community and society?  I talk to God about this...

Look forward to tomorrow.

As I look forward to tomorrow, I consider one or two ways God is inviting me to show greater love toward the oppressed and work for justice. After praying for a few minutes, I ask God for the strength to make this change tomorrow.

I conclude by praying Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit...

Welcome! Chapter 1: World Day of Migrants and Refugees Chapter 2: Season of Creation Chapter 3: The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice Chapter 4: Shelter the Homeless Chapter 5: Walking with the Excluded Chapter 6: Caring for Our Common Home Chapter 7: Racism in America Chapter 8: Human Trafficking Chapter 9: The Salvadoran Martyrs
Chapter 10: Blessed Are You Who Are Hungry Now

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