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Rejoicing in El Salvador As Oscar Romero Declared Martyr

by Jaime Septién

The Vatican Commission that reviewed the martyrdom of Oscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez has given the green light to the process of beatification, ruling that the archbishop of San Salvador was assassinated because of “hatred of the faith.”

With this finding, his successor, the current arch-bishop of San Salvador and president of the Episcopal Conference of El Salvador (CEDES), Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas, expressed his apprbation over the news, shared, without a doubt by all the Catholic Church of the Central American country and of Latin America together.

The news that by unanimous consent the theologians of the Congregation of the Saints recognized the martyrdom of Monseñor Romero, confirming that the cause of his death was hatred of the faith and that his faith led him to offer his life in defending the poor, has given us much joy, Archbishop Escobar said in the press conference.

According to the president of CEDES, the process is in its final steps for the beatification of Archbishop Romero, given that in the case of martyrdom, a miracle is not necessary, he explained. They even say that it may be possible to dispense with the beatification and canonize him at once. Because of this, some think that there is hope that he will be canonized at once, said Escobar Alas.

The Salvadoran Archbishop, who in May of 2014, along with the other Bishops of El Salvador, presented to Pope Francis the program of the Trienio (Three Years) about Monseñor Romero (2014-2017) in which the centenary of his birth (August 15, 1917) is commemorated, clarified that they are respectful of the process and that they are grateful to Pope Francis “because after God, he has been the main promotor of this cause.”

In addition, Archbishop Escobar Alas called on all the Catholics of El Salvador to lift up a prayer asking for the prompt beatification of Oscar Romero. “We have a printed prayer….and I ask all the priests to pray it with the people at the end of each Mass, he said.

The prayer for the beatification of Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez is the following:

Oh Jesus, Eternal Shepherd, you made Monseñor Oscar Romero a living example of faith and charity, and you granted him the grace of dying at the foot of the altar in a supreme act of love for you. Grant us, if it is your will, the grace of his beatification. Make us follow his example of love for the Church, for your Word, for the Eucharist, and love for you in the poor and the needy. We ask this through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace. Amen.

Note: On February 3, 2015, Pope Francis declared Oscar Romero a martyr of the Church.

Translated and reprinted with permission from Aleteia in the Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XXXIV,      No. 1, January-February 2015.


Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XXXIV , No. 1.