Saint Oscar Romero

Seminary classes in El Salvador preceded Óscar Arnulfo Romero’s studies at Rome’s Gregorian University and his ordination in 1942.

Saint Oscar Romero

Seminary classes in El Salvador preceded Óscar Arnulfo Romero’s studies at Rome’s Gregorian University and his ordination in 1942. He took a doctorate in ascetical theology and returned home parish to take up the parish priest position. He went on to become an archbishop.

Barely three weeks into his stint he was moved by the murder of his good friend Jesuit Father Rutilio Grande, a vigorous defender of the rights of the poor in El Salvador, which means “the Savior,” but one of the most violent countries in the Western hemisphere. When a military junta seized control of the national government in 1979, Archbishop Romero publicly criticized the US government for backing the junta.

His weekly radio sermons, broadcast throughout the country, became immensely popular. He was shot by an assassin as he celebrated mass in a hospital chapel, on March 24, 1980. The miracle necessary for sainthood was provided by a Salvadoran man whose wife had slipped into a coma after giving birth. He was beatified on May 23, 2015 and canonized on October 14, 2018.

The UN declared March 24, the date of Romero’s assassination, as the “International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims”

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