Who was Oscar Romero?
Oscar Romero was a prelate of the Catholic Church in El Salvador, who served as the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. He spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture. In 1980, in the midst of the Salvadoran Civil War, the soon-to-be-assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero promised history that life, not death, would have the last word. "I do not believe in death without resurrection," he said. "If they kill me, I will be resurrected in the Salvadoran people." All Romero had to offer the people were weekly homilies broadcast throughout the country, his voice assuring them, not that atrocities would cease, but that the church of the poor, themselves, would live on. Days before his murder he told a reporter, "You can tell the people that if they succeed in killing me, that I forgive and bless those who do it. Hopefully, they will realize they are wasting their time. A bishop will die, but the church of God, which is the people, will never perish." Oscar Romero gave his last homily on March 24. Moments before a sharpshooter felled him, reflecting on scripture, he said, "One must not love oneself so much, as to avoid getting involved in the risks of life that history demands of us, and those that fend off danger will lose their lives." In 1980, Romero was assassinated while offering Mass in the chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence. Pope Francis stated at his beatification that in a time of difficulty in El Salvador, Archbishop Romero knew “how to guide, defend and protect his flock, remaining faithful to the Gospel and in communion with the whole Church. His ministry was distinguished by a particular attention to the poor and marginalized. And at the time of his death, while celebrating the holy sacrifice, love and reconciliation, he received the grace to be fully identified with the one who gave his life for his sheep.”
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