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Pope Francis approves beatification of Saint Mary’s alumnus

December 19, 2018

Campus Connection News

Pope Francis has recognized the martyrdom of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota alumnus Brother James Miller, FSC. The Vatican announced Nov. 8 that Pope Francis approved a decree recognizing Brother James died as a martyr on Feb. 13, 1982, in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. While repairing a wall at the school where he worked, Brother James (also known as Brother Santiago) was approached by three men, who shot and killed him. It is suspected that Brother James was killed because he and the other Brothers fought to keep their young students from being forced into the military.

Brother James will be the first De La Salle Christian Brother from the United States to be beatified. The cause of beatification was undertaken by the Diocese of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, and received the Decree of Validity in Rome in 2010 when Brother James was designated a Servant of God and a martyr for the faith. The recognition of the martyrdom of Brother James clears the way for his beatification; the date and location of the beatification ceremony were not immediately announced. As a martyr, Brother James must have one miracle attributed to him posthumously to reach the next and final step toward official sainthood, which is canonization.