Mission and Identity

UCA Martyrs Memorial and Peace Garden

On Sunday evening, November 15, 2015, members of the Xavier University and Bellarmine Chapel communities dedicated a Memorial to the Salvadoran "Martyrs of the University." In 1989, in the midst of civil war, the Salvadoran military had brutally murdered six Jesuit professors and two women who worked with them. In response, the Xavier community had gathered in Bellarmine in solemn academic convocation and conferred on them posthumous honorary doctoral degrees. Now with this new Memorial, Xavier confirmed the bond that had been forged twenty-five years ago. The dedication service was marked by a procession to the Memorial with images of the Martyrs and lanterns, handbells, and song, a reading from the Scriptures and reflections by the Pastor, Dan Hartnett, SJ, who knew several of the Martyrs personally. They lived and died as witnesses in an appropriate university way to the Gospel and its concern for Jesus' least brothers and sisters.


Quick Facts

Opened: November 15, 2015
Named After: Salvadoran "Martyrs of the University"
Artist: Karen Heyl
Landscape Artist: Clete Benken of MSKS in Covington, KY

Home to:

  • Four "altar-tombs" with a name inscribed and a distinctive relief sculpture on both sides
  • Peace Garden, with colorful wooden pillars, arise expressing prayer for peace in different languages

Donated by: Beckman Family

Bellarmine Chapel