Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero (1917 – 1980)
was killed by a right wing death squad during the Salvadoran
civil war, shortly after appealing to the soldiers of the Salvadoran
army, in the name of God, to stop killing their brothers and sisters.
He is considered by many to have died for his faith, and there is
a process in motion for him to be canonized a Catholic saint.
Oscar Romero, Saint for Our Times
From the June 2015 issue of Celebration, A Comprehensive Worship Resource
Does beatification signal where Pope Francis is leading the church?
By Pat Marrin
The beatification of martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero on May 23, 2015, acknowledges what has been celebrated throughout Latin America since his assassination at the altar on March 24, 1980, in El Salvador. Blessed Romero gave his life as a good shepherd for his flock in a time of persecution. He modeled what a bishop looks like in a church committed to justice for the poor. Romero’s death and the baptism of blood endured by the people of El Salvador during its 12-year civil war (1980-92) inevitably have larger implications for the universal church, and for us in North America.
Pope Francis’ determination to advance Romero’s cause for sainthood recognizes this witness. It also reveals the influence Romero is having on Francis’ own goal as pope — to move the global church closer to the kind of church that emerged in El Salvador under Romero, whose story is a roadmap to such a church.
Archbishop Oscar Romero’s Last Sermon expresses a prophetic call to the soldiers of the Salvadoran army to follow a higher law than the power of the State, which was commanding them to kill their brothers and sisters.
Who was Oscar Romero? Read about how Romero became convinced to take up the cause of poor Salvadorans in this short biography.
¡Romero vive! In his March 2009 Margin Notes column, Kevin Clarke reflects on the meaning of the Salvadoran election 29 years after the death of Romero.
Romero Revisited: El Salvador 30 years later See El Salvador in 1985 and 2009 through the lens of Tom Hocker’s camera.
News: Salvadoran bishops to write Vatican to support Romero’s sainthood (February 8, 2010)
Do you hear the cry of the poor? “The greatest works of liberation theology are not written, they’re lived in people such as Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador,” says Michael Lee, a theology professor at Fordham University. Learn more about liberation theology in this interview with Lee, as well as in 5 Questions.
Online resource center focusing on the life and work of Archbishop Romero
at the Kellogg Institute at the University of Notre Dame
Videos / Film Clips:
Moments in the speeches of Archbishop Oscar Romero, dramatized in English by the actor Raul Julia.
HOMENAJE A MONSEÑOR OSCAR ARNULFO ROMERO EL OBISPO DE LOS POBRES 1917 – 1980.
A six-minute clip from the 1989 movie, Romero, starring Raul Julia. (A DVD of this film should be available in most video rental stores.) The clip begins with Archbishop Romero finding the grave site of a friend and fellow priest, Fr. Rutilio Grande, who had been murdered for helping the farm workers of his parish.
Books by and about Archbishop Oscar Romero:
The Violence of Love
The Pastoral Wisdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero.
Compiled and translated by James R. Brockman, S.J.; fwd. by Henri J. M. Nouwen (San Francisco & Toronto: Harper & Row, 1988; reprinted Farmington, PA: Plough Pub., 1998)
Voice of the Voiceless
The Four Pastoral Letters and Other Statements
Ed. by R. Cardenal, I. Martin-Baró, and J. Sobrino; trans. by Michael J. Walsh (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1985)
The Four Pastoral Letters discuss themes of the Resurrecting Church, the Church as the Body of Christ at work in history, The Church at work with the people, and the Church’s mission within the National Crisis, and the National Security State which sacrifices people, their rights and their lives for the interests of a powerful few. Clearly and independently from the mystery of the martyrdom of Archbishop Romero, these four documents have much to tell us today therefore about our own present situation, about ecclesiology and the prophetic obligation and mission of the Church in the modern world, and they more than merit our close reading now as we struggle still as an oppressed and a pilgrim Catholic Church in America. [Description from a reader’s review on Amazon.com.]
Archbishop Romero: Memories and Reflections
Jon Sobrino, (Maryknoll NY: Orbis, 1990)
(more book purchase links under construction)
Additional Suggested Readings about Archbishop Romero and the Catholic Church in Latin America
With deep appreciation to the Kellog Institute at the University of Notre Dame
Archbishop Oscar Romero: A Shepherd’s Diary.
Translated by Irene B. Hodgson; fwd. by Thomas E. Quigley. London: CAFOD, 1993.
The Church Is All of You: Thoughts of Archbishop Oscar A. Romero.
Compiled and translated by James R. Brockman, S.J. (Minneapolis: Winston Press, 1984)
Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero: Prophet to the Americas.
Margaret Swedish, (Washington, DC: Religious Task Force on Central America, 1995)
Romero, a Life.
James R. Brockman, (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1989)
Archbishop Romero: Memories and Reflections.
Jon Sobrino, (Maryknoll NY: Orbis, 1990)
Oscar Romero: Reflections on His Life and Writings.
Marie Dennis, Renny Golden, Scott Wright. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2000
La voz de los sin voz: La palabra viva de Monseñor Romero.
Ed. by Jon Sobrino, Ignacio Martin-Baró, and Rodolfo Cardenal (San Salvador: UCA Editiores, 1980)
From Power to Communion: Toward a New Way of Being Church Based on the Latin American Experience.
Ed. by Robert S. Pelton, C.S.C. (Notre Dame & London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1994)
Martyrs: Contemporary Writers on Modern Lives of Faith.
Ed. by Susan Bergman (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1998)
Freedom Made Flesh: The Mission of Christ and His Church.
Ignacio Ellucuria, trans. by John Drury (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1976)
Jesus Christ the Liberator: A Historical-Theological Reading of Jesus of Nazareth.
Jon Sobrino (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1993)
Revolution in El Salvador: Origins and Evolution.
Tommie Sue Montgomery (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1982)
The Principle of Mercy: Taking the Crucified People from the Cross.
Jon Sobrino (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1994)
Martyrdom and the Politics of Religion: Progressive Catholicism in El Salvador’s Civil War.
Anna L. Peterson (Binghampton, NY: SUNY Press, 1997)
The Religious Roots of Rebellion: Christians in Central American Revolutions.
Phillip Berryman (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1984)
Stubborn Hope: Religion, Politics and Revolution in Central America.
Phillip Berryman (Maryknoll NY: Orbis, 1995)
Gospel and Mission: Spirituality and the Poor.
Juan Ramón Moreno (Manilla: Cardinal Bea Institute, Ateneo de Manilla University, 1995)
A Retreat With Oscar Romero and Dorothy Day: Walking With the Poor.
Marie Dennis (Cincinatti: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1997)
Companions of Jesus: The Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador.
Jon Sobrino and Ignacio Ellucuria. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1990)
The Harvest of Justice: The Church of El Salvador Ten Years After Romero.
Daniel Santiago (NY: Paulist Press, 1993)
The Protection Racket State: Elite Politics, Military Extortion, and Civil War in El Salvador.
William Stanley (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996)
Cry of the People: United States Involvement in the Rise of Fascism, Torture, and Murder and the Persecution of the Catholic Church in Latin America.
Penny Lernoux (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980)
Fascism’s Return: Scandal, Revision, and Ideology Since 1980.
Ed. by Richard J. Golson (Lincoln, NE and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1998)
War Against the Poor: Low Intensity Conflict and Christian Faith.
Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1989)
Faith of a People: The Life of a Basic Christian Community in El Salvador, 1970-1980.
Pablo Galdámez (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1986)
Death and Life in Morazán: A Priest’s Testimony from a War Zone in El Salvador.
Maria López Vigil (Washington: EPICA, 1989)