Friar Casimir Cypher

Have you ever wondered how to make the ordinary things in your life extraordinary?

That is what Friar Casimir Cypher did in his lifetime.

On June 16-26, 2022, the friars of the Provincial Custody of Mary, Mother of Mercy in Central America, together with the Diocese of Juticalpa in Olancho-Honduras, celebrated the memory, mission and witness of this confrere’s life with various activities.

Friar Casimir came to the Diocese of Juticalpa in early 1973. While there, he spent his life serving the poorest of the poor in the parishes in Gualaco and San Esteban. He traveled the mountain roads on foot or on horseback in order to serve God’s people. As a good Franciscan, he enjoyed the natural surroundings. He shared in the ordinary life of the communities he visited and made his life extraordinary. Friar Casimir gave his life to a Church that was under attack for its apostolic commitment and persecuted out of hatred for the Faith. Now, forty-seven years after his death, these communities recall and embrace the virtues they have come to know in Friar Casimir, virtues that made his life extraordinary. Read more about how this community vividly remembers Friar Casimir and keeps precious stories about him in their hearts.

On June 25, 2021, the Diocese of Juticalpa-Olancho in Honduras celebrated the 46th anniversary of the death of Friar Casimir Cypher with great joy and hope. The Most Reverend José BONELLO, OFM, Bishop of Juticalpa, Honduras, together with Father Orlín ARNOL CRUZ, the Pastor of the church in Gualaco, and other priests, went to the small church where the remains of Friar Casimir rest. There, they celebrated Mass with the faithful in grateful memory of Friar Casimir’s life, mission and witness.

The bishop also spoke about Friar Casimir’s love of creation as revealed in his various writings. The bishop invited everyone to be mindful of Friar Casimir’s story and to bear fruit in the life of faith and Christian commitment by following the example of Friar Casimir’s life. Read more about the 46th-anniversary celebration

A Franciscan with the Littleness of a Child, Simple, and Willing to Serve

On June 25, 1975, Friar Casimir Cypher OFM Conv., drove his borrowed pickup into the city of Juticalpa for repairs. He was unaware that the National Union of Campesinos had organized a demonstration that day for better implementation of land reform legislation. Hearing gunshots, Fr. Casimir ran toward the commotion.

Knowing that he was a priest, soldiers arrested him. He was stripped in the town square, ridiculed, and beaten. Along with another priest, Fr. Ivan Betancort, two of Fr. Ivan’s companions, and ten campesino leaders, Friar Casimir was brutally tortured and executed. His body and those of the others killed with him were then thrown into a deep well and dynamited in an attempt to cover up the massacre.

Friar Casimir Cypher along with thirteen other people, was brutally humiliated, savagely tortured and killed. His body was thrown down a well. Friar Casimir was only 34 years old. Read more about the life of Friar Casimir