Legacy of the martyrs award
November 16, 2014, marked twenty-five years since Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J., Segundo Montes, S.J., Juan Ramón Moreno, S.J., Joaquín López y López, S.J., Amando López, S.J., and their housekeeper Elba Ramos and her 15-year-old daughter Celina Ramos were murdered at the University of Central America in San Salvador, El Salvador.
The legacy of the Jesuit martyrs significantly influenced the Church and the Jesuit community around the world. Across the Ignatian network of Jesuits and lay collaborators, new ways of working for justice, grounded in Christian faith, have developed over the course of these twenty-five years.
The Ignatian Solidarity Network is a direct product of the martyrs’ legacy. The deaths of 70,000 innocent individuals over the course of El Salvador’s 12-year civil war, many killed by Salvadoran soldiers who received U.S. military training at the former U.S. Army School of the Americas, gave ISN founders like Robert Holstein and Fr. Charlie Currie, S.J., the impetus to invite the Jesuit network to be part of working to bring attention to U.S. involvement in Central America. From 1996 to 2009, the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice took place in conjunction with SOAWatch’s vigil at the gates of Ft. Benning, the location of the former School of the Americas before it was renamed in 2001. While the Teach-In moved to Washington, D.C., in 2010, the legacy of the martyrs remains at the core of ISN’s social justice education and advocacy efforts.
The Ignatian Solidarity Network is commemorating this 25th anniversary year in many unique ways, including recognizing individuals and institutions with Legacy of the Martyrs Awards throughout 2014 and 2015. These awards will be bestowed on those who have made significant contributions to sustaining the witness and legacy of the Jesuit martyrs and their companions.