Pope Francis has recognized the martyrdom of De La Salle Christian Brother James “Santiago” Miller, FSC, who was killed February 13, 1982, in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. The Vatican announced on Thursday, November 8, 2018, that Pope Francis issued the decree which clears the way for Brother James’ beatification at a date and time to be announced.
Brother James was repairing a wall at the De La Salle Indian School when he was approached by three men, who shot and killed him. It is thought that he was killed because the Brothers were relentless in their efforts to keep the Indian boys from being conscripted into the military.
Brother James is an alumnus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1966 and his graduate degree in 1974. After graduating from Saint Mary’s, Brother James taught at Cretin High School, now Cretin-Derham Hall, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, for several years before going to Nicaragua, and eventually Guatemala.
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, in 2009 and received the Decree of Validity in Rome in 2010 when Brother James was designated a Servant of God.