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Thursday, November 29, 2012

gratitude: jesuit martyrs part 2

I had a request to post the rest of the Salvadoran Jesuit martyr paintings I shared here.  Hope you enjoy.  

This shy priest was born in Spain August 29, 1933.  Fr.  Juan Ramón taught many subjects at both the high school and university level including biology, history, civics, math, English, and geography.  One of his major contributions to the UCA was his work in the library updating the cataloging system and the archives.  These two elements inspire the background of the painting which is composed of abstract books.  Fr. Juan Ramón was also given the honor and responsibility of being a novice master, the priest who guides new Jesuits in their first years of formation.  When he preached about liberation theology and evangelization at retreats and in front of various audiences, he was said to catch fire.  For this reason, Fr. Juan Ramón is painted in orange.   

“It will be beneficial to have a faithful and competent person to instruct and teach the novices how to conduct themselves inwardly and outwardly, to encourage them to this, to remind them of it, and to give them loving admonition; a person whom all those who are in probation may love and to whom they may have recourse in their temptations and open themselves with confidence, hoping to receive from him in our Lord counsel and aid in everything.”  --Jesuit Spiritual Exercises

Fr. Amando López, S.J., was born in Spain on February 6, 1936.  A teacher of theology at the UCA, Fr. Amando was a great source of comfort to those in need of guidance and counsel.  Fr. Amando was described by fellow Jesuit Fr. Sobrino as “the one who knew best how to live” out of the Jesuits who lived in his community.  For this reason, the background of this painting is made of red flowers symbolizing his ability to help people grow and his own ability to continue to live life in a compromising situation.  Fr. Amando is painted in green to show his vitality.  

“We sometimes talk of leaving also.  But our hope is not in leaving, it is here.  If I leave, the crisis will stay.  Here I may be able to effect change.” –Fr. Amando López S.J. 

Born in Spain on May 15, 1933, Fr. Segundo Montes worked at the UCA as the head of the Sociology department and as the director of the Human Rights Institute.  His fiery personality in addition to his intense appearance earned him the nickname “Zeus.”  A former professor of Physics, he decided he could best serve Salvadorans as a social analyst and thus focused his work on studying and writing about issues such as land reform, social class, refugees, and immigration.  Understanding the dangers associated with his work and after having his room bombed, Fr. Segundo still decided to remain in El Salvador stating simply, “what am I going to do?—if they kill me, they kill me.”  To capture the passion and fierceness of his personality, the dominant color of this painting is red.  

“How can we be really free if our brothers and sisters are not free?  This is my country and these people are my people.  We here are not just teachers and social scientists.  We are also parish priests, and the people need to have the church stay with them in these terrible times—the rich as well as the poor.  The rich need to hear from us, just as do the poor.  God’s grace does not leave, so neither can we.” --Fr. Segundo Montes, S.J. 

Born in Spain on November 7, 1942, Fr. Martin Baró was the youngest of the UCA Jesuit martyrs.  Making large contributions to the field of social psychology, Fr. Martin Baró used his intellectual and academic abilities to study the psychological effects of war on the Salvadoran people and often used these studies practically to help people he came into contact with.  While he worked extremely diligently, he was also very considerate and came to life in his weekend work in the parish of Jayaque.  Due to his love of guitar playing and the extremes of his personality, Fr. Martin Baró is painted in purple.  

“There is an aspect of war that is of great importance and should be analyzed by social psychology: its way of defining all that is social….  But this same absorbing quality of the war can lead to ignoring the different ways in which it affects groups and individuals: what represents ruin for some becomes big business for others, and what places some close to death opens for others the possibility of new life.”—Fr. Martin-Baró, S.J. 

Born in Spain on November 9, 1930, this priest was a person who challenged ideas, pushed limits, and enjoyed making people think by voicing his sometimes controversial opinions.  Fr. Ellacuría, president and rector of the UCA, courageously brought light to various injustices in El Salvador by writing articles and giving talks which made him a target of negative right-wing attention.  Like the Jesuits of the community, Fr. Ellacuría understood the dangers of dedicating his life to trying to realize the goals of liberation theology in El Salvador and of voicing the truth about Salvadoran political, social, and economic structures.  Ellacuría and his Jesuit brothers stayed and remained a light to the country inspiring the yellow color of this painting.  

“So telling the truth becomes an unmasking of lies, and that is not forgiven.”

“Telling the truth, communicating it in a way appropriate to a university…has always been dangerous because the idols seek to hide their true face.”—Fr. Jon Sobrino, S.J.

“The Spirit breathes in many ways, and supreme among them is the disposition to give one’s life for others, whether by tireless daily commitment or by the sacrifice of a violent death.”
 –Fr. Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J. 

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