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Expat wanderer

St. Oscar Romero

I didn’t even know we had a St. Oscar Romero, so when it came up on my screen, this morning as I was doing my daily lectionary readings I took a little time to read about him.

What an incredible man – and a modern day saint, too, a man for our times:

OSCAR ROMERO
ARCHBISHOP OF SAN SALVADOR, AND THE MARTYRS OF EL SALVADOR

(24 March 1980)
Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (August 15, 1917 – March 24, 1980), commonly known as Monseñor Romero, was a priest of the Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador. He later became prelate archbishop of San Salvador.

As an archbishop, he witnessed numerous violations of human rights and began a ministry speaking out on behalf of the poor and victims of the country’s civil war. His brand of political activism was denounced by the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church and the government of El Salvador. In 1980, he was assassinated by gunshot while consecrating the Eucharist during mass. His death finally provoked international outcry for human rights reform in El Salvador.

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 the unofficial patron saint of the Americas and El Salvador and is often referred to as “San Romero” in El Salvador. Outside of Catholicism Romero is honored by other religious denominations of Christendom, like the Church of England through its Common Worship. He is one of the ten 20th-century martyrs from across the world who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, London.

You don’t have to be perfect to be a saint, in fact in the reading for today, St. Paul writes that “22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.

We cannot, in our own strength do right all the time, even if we want to choose rightly. Oscar Romero may not have been perfect (because none of us are, it’s not like I know anything scandalous about him) but he dedicated himself to righting a major wrong he saw in society, and his persistence and dedication ended up causing his death.

March 24, 2009 - Posted by | Biography, Character, Cross Cultural, Leadership, Lent, Social Issues, Spiritual

4 Comments »

  1. Our Lent course tonight is looking at “What can we do?” with regard to world issues of poverty and corruption etc. So I will quote your item on Oscar Romero – Thanks

    Comment by Malcolm Thompson | March 24, 2009 | Reply

  2. I also blogged today about Archbishop Romero. His life and death remind us that the Kingdom of God is both here and not yet. I am grateful for his witness and the challenge he sets before us.

    Comment by marshmk | March 25, 2009 | Reply

  3. Good morning, Malcolm! I am honored! Come back soon!

    Good morning, Marshmk. I am so glad you commented; it gave me a chance to visit your blog. It’s an easy blog to spend a lot of time on. 🙂 Yes, Archbishop Romero sets an exceedingly high standard.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 25, 2009 | Reply

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog and your kind comment.

    Comment by Mike | March 25, 2009 | Reply


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