Saint Oscar Romero
On October 14, 2018, Archbishop Oscar Romero will be canonized in Rome. He was martyred.
On March 24,1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, El Salvador, was shot by the military through the heart during Mass. He emphasized in his homily the need to embrace with Christian hope, justice and peace so that no one dies forever.
" This holy Mass of Thanksgiving, then, is just such an act of faith . By Christian faith we know that at this moment the host of wheat becomes the body of the Lord who offered himself for the redemption of the world, and that the wine in this chalice is transformed into the blood that was the price of salvation. May this body that was immolated and this flesh that was sacrificed for humankind, also nourish us so that we can give our bodies and our blood to suffering and pain, as Christ did, not for our own sake but to bring justice and peace to our people. Let us then join closely together in faith and hope at this moment of prayer for ourselves." (Archbishop Oscar Romero)
In that moment of prayer, a shot sounded in the chapel. Archbishop Romero fell to the floor at the foot of the cross behind the altar. He died within minutes. (The Scandal of Redemption, Edited by Carolyn Kurtz)
He died during Mass. Let us remember that the celebration of the Eucharist is Heaven on earth and this new saint died while celebrating Heaven on earth.
During this time of guerrilla warfare, civil unrest and a dictatorial government, Archbishop Romero did not advocate violence but used his love for God and the message of God's love and Gospel to bring the truth to the people. This was a time when the murders of peasants and priests were common. St Oscar Romero was persecuted by the government for standing up for the poor. He had ,the day prior to his death, delivered a sermon admonishing the Salvadorian soldiers, as fellow Christians, to obey God's higher order and to stop carrying out the government's repression and violation of basic human rights.