Historical Memory, Liberation Theology, romero

Recordando a San Romero: 40 Años de Inspiración y Esperanza

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romero3Oscar Arnulfo Romero nació el 15 de agosto de 1917 en Ciudad Barrios, Departamento de San Miguel. Al terminar sus estudios básicos se dedicó al aprendizaje de carpintería y a la música. En 1930 a los trece años de edad, ingresó al seminario menor en San Miguel y luego, en 1937, se mudó a Roma donde terminó sus estudios teológicos en la Universidad Gregoriana, el día 4 de abril de 1942. Regresó a El Salvador en 1943, y fue asignado a la parroquia de Anamorós, un pueblo cerca de San Miguel. En 1966, es nombrado Secretario de la Conferencia de Obispos en El Salvador, cargo en el cual permaneció por once años. En 1970, es nombrado Obispo y el 3 de febrero de 1977, la Iglesia Católica en el Vaticano bajo el mando del Papa Pablo VI, lo nombró Arzobispo de San Salvador.

Durante los siguientes tres años se desempeñó como Arzobispo de San Salvador, por ese tiempo el país se embarcaba en una guerra civil, de las más sangrientas de América Latina. Uno de los hechos más dolorosos para Monseñor Romero fue el asesinato de su amigo, el sacerdote Rutilio Grande, tras el asesinato del padre Grande, Monseñor Romero se convierte un férreo defensor de los derechos humanos. Su incansable lucha en la defensa de los más pobres lo convirtió en una poderosa voz de denuncia contra la represión que sufría el pueblo, al punto de ser considerado “La Voz de los Sin Voz.”

Sus palabras siguen resonando:

“La persecución es algo necesario en la Iglesia. ¿Saben porqué? Porque la verdad siempre es perseguida.” (Homilía 29 -05-1977)

“Mi voz desaparecerá, pero mi palabra que es Cristo quedará en los
corazones que lo hayan querido acoger.” (Homilía 17-12-78)

“… Les suplico, les ruego, les ordeno en nombre de Dios: ¡cese la represión!” (Homilía 23-03-80)

“Es inconcebible que se diga a alguien cristiano y no tome como Cristo una opción preferencial por los pobres.” (Homilía 9-09-1979)

“Si me matan resucitaré en el pueblo salvadoreño.” (Marzo 1980)

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Su palabra y sus acciones como defensor de los pobres y oprimidos lo convirtieron en enemigo de los sectores más conservadores y de la dictadura militar que gobernaba el país, por lo que el 24 de marzo de 1980, mientras celebraba una misa, es asesinado de un certero disparo al corazón. Desde el momento de su muerte Monseñor Romero se convierte en un símbolo universal de la justicia y la paz. El 14 de octubre de 2018, Monseñor Romero fue Canonizado por el Papa Francisco; sin embargo, este hecho solo fue el reconocimiento formal de la iglesia, al pueblo que lo hizo Santo desde el momento de su asesinato.

Para el Movimiento de Comunidades Eclesiales de Base de El Salvador:
Monseñor Romero es grato a Dios porque desenmascaró la mentira histórica de aquel momento que hacía creer que la pobreza y la miseria de las mayorías era voluntad de Dios. Y confesó valientemente la verdad sobre el Dios que mandó a su Hijo Jesucristo a tomar una preferencia sin ambigüedades por los pobres. Así mismo, es el reconocimiento a la justeza de la lucha del pueblo salvadoreño por definir su propio destino.

Ahora, a 40 años de su asesinato, Monseñor Romero es conocido como “San
Romero de América.”


Remembering San Romero: 40 years of Inspiration and Hope

Oscar Arnulfo Romero was born on August 15, 1917 in Ciudad Barrios, Department of San Miguel. After finishing his basic studies he devoted himself to learning carpentry and music. In 1930 at the age of thirteen, he entered the minor seminary in San Miguel and then, in 1937, he moved to Rome where he finished his theology studies at the Gregorian University on April 4, 1942.

He returned to El Salvador in 1943, and was assigned to the parish of Anamorós, a town near San Miguel. In 1966, he was appointed Secretary of the Conference of Bishops in El Salvador, a position in which he remained for eleven years. In 1970, he was appointed Bishop and on February 3, 1977 the Catholic Church, under the command of Pope Paul VI, appointed him Archbishop of San Salvador.

During the following three years he served as Archbishop of San Salvador, the country was embarking on one of the bloodiest civil wars in Latin America. A defining moment for Monsignor Romero was the tragic murder of his friend, priest Rutilio Grande. After the murder of Father Grande, Monsignor Romero became a strong defender of human rights. His tireless fight in defense of the poor made him a powerful voice against the repression suffered by his people, to the point where he was considered to be “The Voice of the Voiceless.”

His words continue to resonate:

“Persecution is something necessary in the Church. Do you know why? Because the truth is always persecuted.” (Homily 29 -05-1977).

“My voice will disappear, but my Word which is Christ will remain in the hearts of those who have chosen to accept him.” (Homily 12-17-78).

“… I beg you, I beseech you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression!” (Homily 03-23-80).

“It is inconceivable that some can call themselves Christian without taking, like Christ, a preferential option for the poor.” (Homily 9-09-1979).

“If they kill me, I will rise again in the Salvadoran people” (March-1980).

romero2Needless to say, his word and his actions as a defender of the poor and oppressed made him an enemy of the most conservative sectors and the military dictatorship that governed the country. On March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass, he was assassinated by a sniper’s bullet through the heart. From the moment of his death, Monsignor Romero became a universal symbol of justice and peace.

On October 14, 2018, Monsignor Romero was declared a saint by Pope Francis. However to his people, he became holy at the hour of his death.

For the grassroots Movement of Ecclesial Communities of El Salvador, Monsignor Romero pleased God by unmasking the historical lie that poverty and misery of the people was God’s will. He bravely confessed the truth about the God who sent his Son Jesus Christ to take an unambiguous preference for the poor. Likewise, Romero’s canonization signifies a recognition of the just struggle of the Salvadoran people to define their own destiny.

Now, 40 years after his assassination, Monsignor Romero is known as “Saint Romero of the Americas.”

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News Highlights, romero

Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero has been Raised to Sainthood

October 14th, 2018
A crowd of 70,000 faithful huddled in St. Peters Square witnessed as Pope Francis elevated Oscar Arnulfo Romero to Sainthood. Among them were five thousand Salvadorans who made the pilgrimage to Vatican City to venerate their prophet, El Salvador’s cherished archbishop who was martyred (español) by the Salvadoran army on March 24, 1980.

The Pope, wearing the blood-stained rope belt that Romero wore when he was shot, also bestowed sainthood to Pope Paul VI, Nazaria Ignacia of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Francesco Spinelli, Vincenzo Romano and Mary Caterina Kasper and Nunzio.

Across El Salvador, and in many latin American countries, tens of thousands held vigils and over the night watched the Mass live on giant TV screens in public squares.

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Romero, after witnessing the constant repression by the Salvadoran government towards its own people, preached nonviolence and denounced injustices, amid an escalating civil war that would go on to displace over 1,000,000 Salvadorans and cost the lives of an estimated 80,000 people.

Cecilia Flores de Rivas is recognized by the highest authorities of the Catholic Church as the living miracle that allows the canonization of Archbishop Romero.


Click here for the full coverage including transcripts.