The Voice of the Voiceless

Icon by Br. Robert Lentz, OFM

Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez

(August 15, 1917 – March 24, 1980)

As an archbishop who witnessed ongoing violations of human rights, Romero initiated and gave his status to a group which spoke out on behalf of the poor and the victims of the Salvadoran civil war. In many ways Romero was closely associated with Liberation Theology and openly condemned both Marxism and Capitalism. In 1980, as he finished giving his homily during Mass, Romero was assassinated by a group headed by former major Roberto D’Aubuisson. This provoked an international outcry for reform in El Salvador. After his assassination, Romero was succeeded by Monsignor Arturo Rivera. In 1997, a cause for beatification and canonization into sainthood was opened for Romero, and Pope John Paul II bestowed upon him the title of Servant of God. The process continues. He is considered by some the unofficial patron saint of the Americas and El Salvador and is often referred to as “San Romero” by Catholics in El Salvador. Outside of Catholicism, Romero is honored by other religious denominations of Christendom, including the Church of England through the Calendar in Common Worship. He is one of the ten 20th century martyrs who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey in London.

Reprinted from Wikipedia

Let us pray.

Almighty God, you called your servant Oscar Romero to be a voice for the voiceless poor, and to give his life as seed of freedom and a sign of hope: Grant that, inspired by his sacrifice and the example of the martyrs of El Salvador, we may without fear or favor witness to your Word who abides, your Word who is Life, even Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be praise and glory now and for ever.  Amen.

Reprinted from Lesser Feasts and Fasts (2006)

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