Jesuits

November 16, 1989
El Salvador

The pandy bat, the swift soutane,
the fierce eyes that tempt the boy to pride.
Ordinal in their ranks and rows,
the God-squad, heaven’s Special Forces.
Trampling Christ’s face before the smiling Inoue
in sacrifice of soul for tortured peasants.
So brave, so fired by God’s love,
the Iroquois ate de Brébeuf’s martyred heart.

Advertisement

A mighty story, terrible and true
beginning with Ignatius’ shattered bones,
grace exploding from a French cannon,
unfolding with the cold steel of dawn
against the necks of five prostrate priests,
the bodies of an old schoolmaster,
a housekeeper and her terrified child.

Ignatius imprisoned in the picture,
the caves of Manresa behind his eyes,
forever doomed to write his holy book,
right hand brandishing the endless pen,
his sword long left behind at Montserrat.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

It is astonishing to think that God would choose to enter the world this way: as a fragile newborn who could not even hold up his own head without help.
Ginny Kubitz MoyerOctober 20, 2017
Protestors rally to support Temporary Protected Status near the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 26. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Around 200,000 Salvadorans and 57,000 Hondurans have been residing in the United States for more than 15 years under Temporary Protected Status. But that status is set to expire in early 2018.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 20, 2017
At the heart of Anne Frank’s life and witness is a hopeful faith in humanity.
Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J.October 20, 2017
Forensic police work on the main road in Bidnija, Malta, which leads to Daphne Caruana Galizias house, looking for evidence on the blast that killed the journalist as she was leaving her home, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Caruana Galizia, a harsh critic of Maltese Premier Joseph Muscat, and who reported extensively on corruption on Malta, was killed by a car bomb on Monday. (AP Photo/Rene Rossignaud)
Rarely does the death of a private citizen elicit a formal letter of condolence from the Pope.