Archbishop Romero Remembered by the People of El Salvador
Anthony Horan looks at the call for the beatification of a martyr for the faith
The people of San Salvador in the Central American country of El Salvador yesterday celebrated the life of their former Archbishop and martyr for the faith, Oscar Romero, in the very Church where he died. Romero was shot in the heart by a gunman linked to the military government as he said Mass on March 24th, 1980.
The hospital chapel was packed as people came to honour Romero and celebrate Palm Sunday Mass. Many hundreds had to stand outside and many of them held aloft banners calling for Romero to be made a Saint.
Romero fought tirelessly, yet humbly, with the government and their associated military before his death as they tried to force their power on the innocent poor of El Salvador and pursued a secular campaign to remove the Church from public life. On one occasion he Romero forced his way into a Church that had been taken over by the military to recover the Eucharist.
On the day he was killed Romero said "In the name of God and of this suffering people, I pray of you, I beg you, I order you, in the name of God, stop this repression."
The people of El Salvador hope that Pope Francis will hear their plea for beatification.