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Late Oklahoma Priest's Martyrdom Recognized By Pope

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VATICAN CITY -

Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of Father Stanley Rother of the Oklahoma City Archdiocese.

With the recognition, Rother becomes the first martyr born in the United States. This move clears the way for the beatification.

Rother, who grew up on an Okarche farm, traveled to Guatemala in 1968 to minister the poor. In 1981, he was murdered there during the country's civil war. He was shot in the rectory of his church in Santiago Atitlan. 

6/9/16 Related Story: Oklahoma Priest On Road To Becoming State's First Saint

His is laid to rest in Oklahoma but is memorialized at the church in Guatemala with a plaque marking the enshrinement of his heart and some blood.

Rother's name was submitted for canonization by Guatemalan bishops to St. John Paul II in 1996.

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