A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Oscar Romero – Martyr

romeroArchbishop Oscar Romero was beatified on May 23 in El Salvador with hundreds of thousands of people present for the occasion.

“Romero, friend, the people are with you,” the congregation chanted at a square in San Salvador.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided over the beatification Mass.

In his homily the cardinal said that “the figure of Romero is still alive and giving comfort to the marginalised of the earth.”“His option for the poor was not ideological, but evangelical. His charity extended to the persecutors.”

Blessed Romero was assassinated in 1980 while celebrating Mass a day after ordering soldiers and police to stop killing innocent civilians.

While his killers were never found, many blame the assassination on right-wing death squads. The archbishop had been a fierce critic of the US-backed military regime that seized power in 1979.

The blood-stained shirt he wore when he was killed is now a relic and it was given some prominence at the beatification Mass. Eight deacons carried the shirt, displayed in a glass case, to the altar.

One of the offertory gifts at the beatification Mass was a book “From Madness to Hope” that detailed some of the human rights atrocities committed in El Salvador during the conflict from 1979 to 1992 between leftist guerrillas and a right-wing dictatorship.

In a message, Pope Francis stated that, in a time of difficulty in El Salvador, Archbishop Romero knew “how to guide, defend and protect his flock, remaining faithful to the Gospel and in communion with the whole Church.”

“His ministry was distinguished by a particular attention to the poor and marginalised,” the Pope noted.

Archbishop Romero’s feast day will be March 24, the “day he was born into heaven,” the Pontiff wrote. In February, Francis signed the decree recognising Archbishop Romero as a martyr, a person killed “in hatred of the faith,”

A hero to the liberation theology movement, Blessed Romero’s beatification was delayed for decades over political concerns. But the way forward for his cause was unblocked by Pope Benedict XVI.   

Source: Cathnews www.cathnews.co.nz

Tagged as:

Comments are closed.