Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Real Feast Day - Oscar Romero

We celebrate the feast day of Oscar Romero today, despite my previous post announcing the feast day of John Donne. Archbishop Romero is one of my favorites, because of his love and care for the poor and oppressed.

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.

"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."
John 15:13

Archbishop Romero is under consideration for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church, but the Episcopal Church has moved ahead and given him a feast day. Thanks be to God.


Almighty God, you called your servant Oscar Romero to be a voice for the voiceless poor, and to give his life as a seed of freedom and a sign of hope: Grant that, inspired by his sacrifice and the example of the martyrs of El Salvador, we may without fear or favor witness to your Word who abides, your Word who is Life, even Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be praise and glory now and for ever. Amen.


  1. I doubt that the current pope or his friends will let Romero be honored in such a way.

  2. Fr. Luis Barrios, about whom I blogged a few weeks ago, is the priest of San Romero de Las Americas (which is actually UCC and not TEC for reasons too complicated to go into here.) Fr. Barrios was arrested last year in a peaceful demonstration outside the UN when President Bush was speaking there.
    He will be tried in criminal court in Manhattan tomorrow, March 26, (unless the trial is postponed again.)
    Fr. Barrios selected Oscar Romero as the namesake for his congregation because of the liberative nature of his ministry.

  3. Dennis, Archbishop Romero is most certainly not on the fast track for canonization.

    Allen, I remember that post. I will pray for Fr. Barrios.

    The liberative nature of Abp. Romero's ministry was the problem for the Roman Catholic Church.


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