December 2nd, 2023 marks the 43rd Anniversary of the Martyrdom in El Salvador of Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and Lay Missioner Jean Donovan who were brutally murdered then buried in a shallow grave on December 2nd, 1980. On this day we also remember the 70,000 Salvadorans who also perished during that nation’s civil war.
As we are drawn into the vision and hope of these women our life and our faith are renewed. The inescapable challenge of their lives and deaths calls us to compassion for and solidarity with the poor. They were not blind to the evil and sin in our world, nor were they naïve about its causes. The heart of their faith was that they focused upon the holiness of human life. Their wisdom flowed from the person, message, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Four decades later, the starkness of these women’s lives and deaths calls us to open our lives to the ultimate challenge of the gospel:
“Love Thy Neighbour.” (Matthew 22:39)
In tragedy we must find inspiration…we hope and pray that what we have learned through these Martyrs sacrifices will touch your lives forever.
Learn more about the lives of Sister Ita and Sister Maura
“I hope you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you. Some thing worth living for — may be even worth dying for – some thing that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead. I can’t tell you what it might be – that’s for you to find, to choose, to love. I can just encourage you to start looking and support you in the search.”
-Sister Ita Ford