The three other beatified martyrs were all born in El Salvador.
Father Rutilio Grande, a Jesuit priest and professor of pastoral theology educated in Europe, spoke out boldly to condemn the repressive action of the military and the ruling oligarchy against the poor and the marginalized, according to the Vatican.
He was driving back with five other people in the car on March 12, 1977, from a Mass offered as part of a novena in preparation for the feast of St. Joseph, when the vehicle was attacked by armed men.
The priest was instantly killed, along with a 16-year-old boy named Nelson Rutilio Lemus, who often assisted at Mass, and Manuel Solórzano, a 72-year-old catechist and father of 10.
St. Oscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador at the time, was deeply shaken by the assassination and personally presided over the funeral Mass.
“In the motivation of love, there cannot remain absent justice, there can be no true peace and true love on the basis of injustice, violence, intrigue,” Romero said, according to the Vatican’s martyrdom decree.
“True love is what brought Rutilio Grande to his death together with two farmers. This is how he loved the Church, he died with them, and with them he presented himself to the transcendence of heaven.”
About 5,000 people, 25 bishops, and 600 priests were present at the beatification Mass in San Salvador’s Plaza del Divino Salvador del Mundo, according to Suyapa Medios.
Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez, an auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, gave the homily at the Mass.
"Our martyrs can help us recover memory and hope so that we do not give up the dream of a reconciled and peaceful country, a country as our God wants it: just, fraternal, and supportive,” the cardinal said, according to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner.