The Saint of Santa Fe, by Silvio Sirias
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: Anaphora Literary Press (December 19, 2013)
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The Saint of Santa Fe: In 1968, a young, recently ordained Colombian priest leaves behind everything to start a new parish in the jungles of Panama. Father Héctor Gallego soon discovers that his parishioners live as indentured servants. Inspired by liberation theology, he sets into motion a plan to liberate them. Father Gallegos is successful, but his work places him on a collision course with General Omar Torrijos, the nation’s absolute ruler. On January 9, 1971, military operatives abduct the priest. He is never seen or heard from again, but he remains very much alive in the minds of Panamanians who, still today, clamor for his case to be brought to justice. Although The Saint of Santa Fe is a work of fiction, the novel is based on the real-life experiences of Héctor Gallego and the campesinos who worked alongside him to create a just society. This sweeping novel tells many stories, including that of Edilma, the priest’s sister who since age eleven has been searching for the meaning of his death. The Saint of Santa Fe is a story of faith, heroism, and sacrifice that’s reminiscent of Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory and Miguel de Unamuno’s San Manuel Bueno, mártir.