Wednesday, March 24, 2010

San Romero of the Americas

The Rev. Gloria del Castillo of El Buen Samaritano congregation preaching at a mass remembering Bishop Oscar Romero today at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist.

Thirty years ago on March 24, 1980 the Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador was shot through the heart while saying mass. He had spoken out against the violence used by the Salvadoran oligarchy and army to repress the country's poor. A right wing death squad assassinated this meddlesome priest.

According to the Wikipedia:

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. In 2008, he was chosen as one of the 15 Champions of World Democracy by the Europe-based magazine A Different View.

Fr. Romero is such a gripping figure for so many people because he did not begin as a champion of the poor, but came to his brave stance through an evolution in response to the horrors he saw around him. His trajectory points to the possibility of conversion to higher purposes that any of us might discover, if only we embrace courage and sheer determination to witness to truths we cannot evade.


MadPriest said...

I fully accept that Fr Romero should be a patron saint of El Salvador. But for the rest of the Americas to claim him is a bit hypocritical as this would include the USA which was responsible for his murder.

janinsanfran said...

Dear MadPriest -- point taken and understood. But one of the consequences of empire is that the USA is full of people who can no longer find livelihood in the countries where the USA stomps about. And they migrate, bringing their figures of veneration to the imperial center with them.

Didn't that happen a long time ago in another empire? Aren't we going to spend the next few weeks meditating on that mystery? Maybe we should complain that God's way of delivering grace is repulsive. Lots of people have and do ...

Related Posts with Thumbnails