Pray for us Santo [Stanley] Francis “Apla’s” [Rother], pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
To be in his room moved me deeply.
To be in his room on All Saints Day shook me.
The room where he prayed for and grieved over his people…
The room where he wrote letters home sharing his love of and commitment to the the Tz’utujil Maya and letters foretelling his demise for remaining among them…
The room where his life was taken by evil and his life was given for the Gospel…
This space where bullet hole and shed blood mark the occasion of his death glimmered with the presence of a vibrant spirit and devoted spiritual leader who ever watches over the people and the church he loved so much.
Like the life of Saint Romero from neighboring El Salvador, Saint Francis Alpa’s’ life echoes from beyond time into my own. On this day when the veil separating me from my spiritual ancestors shimmers translucent, I felt him in that tiny room adorned with the effects of his office. As I lit a candle and prayed, I heard him whisper…
Remain rooted in your purpose.
Love all God’s people; stand by them.
Pray for those who do evil; love them too.
Live in hope.
Yes, Father Francis, I hear you. And though I will likely never lose my life standing for justice:
Pray for me as I attempt to live into your words to me.
Stay with me daily as I attempt to live into authentic solidarity as you did.
Remind me of the urgency of the Gospel and its power to inspire right relationship as if my life depended on it.
Maltyoox, Padre, for your life and your spirit. How great must be the reward in the heaven you lived in and lived into!
And thank you for being present to me through my remembrance of you in the room where you lived and prayed among your people.
Pray for me Santo Francis Apla’s, pray for me now and at the hour of my death.