The Canonization of San Oscar Arnulfo Romero

(By Jaime Sevilla, From Roma)

On October 14 and 15, 2018, all Salvadorans were invited to participate in a historic moment for El Salvador; It was the culmination of a long process for Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador to go up to the altars of the Church. He was assassinated while celebrating the Holy Mass in the Divine Providence Chapel, on March 24, 1980.

All of us who had the blessing of going to Rome and experience a full spiritual joy and religious identity; especially because we felt the closeness of the Successor of Peter, to whom we expressed our love and filiation.

On Sunday, October 14, The Episcopal Conference of El Salvador, convoked all pilgrims at 5:00 am to St. Peter’s Square; However, before that time, there were many Salvadorans waiting for the clock to give 7:00 am for the doors to opened. Little by little, St Peter Square got filled with people. When the Holy Mass began, the whole place got crowded and even a large part of Conciliazzione Avenue was getting filled.

It was wonderful to hear the biography of Saint Paul VI and the other saints, but it was something very special to listened that after the rite, our Saint and Martyr, Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero, was proclaimed a saint for the Universal Church.

During the homily of the Holy Mass of Canonization, the Holy Father said: “It is wonderful that together with him and the other new saints today, there is Archbishop Romero, who left the security of the world, even his own safety, in order to give his life according to the Gospel, close to the poor and to his people, with a heart drawn to Jesus and his brothers and sisters”.

The blue and white color of El Salvador undoubtedly stood out in the St Peter Square, but the most wonderful thing was to see people from all over the world, happy to witness the Canonization of Monsignor Oscar Romero.

The next day, the Salvadoran people were blessed, as the Vatican allowed us attended the Holy Mass to give tanks at Paul VI’s hall, now St. Paul VI.

A beautiful moment was to see in the entrance procession all the Bishops of El Salvador and other guests, including Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Honduras and president of the Group of 9, who together with Pope Francis, work in the Reformation of the Church.

Other prominent guests were the archbishop of Panama City, the venue for World Youth Day, January 22-27, 2019, and which one Pope Francis will attend. Also, present were the Bishop of Ponce, Puerto Rico and many priests. There were about seven thousand people in general. During the homily, Cardinal Rosa Chávez highlighted the legacy of San Oscar Romero.

It was wonderful to see the entire Episcopal Conference of El Salvador completely in communion with San Oscar Romero, an action that our Martyr always yearned for and fought to see come true; Yesterday was that great day, especially when Cardinal Rosa Chávez invited all the Bishops of El Salvador to Concelebrate around the altar.

After the Holy Mass was over, Salvadoran singer Álvaro Torres appeared to interpret the theme Patria Querida. However, in mid-song, Pope Francis made his appearance at the entrance to Paul VI’s Hall. We all became euphoric with joy, the Holy Father looked very jovial, full of joy, transmitting to us that energy and enthusiasm that only an authentic apostle of Christ is capable of transmitting to a multitude.

After the ceremonial greetings, the Archbishop of San Salvador said three very important things in the name of the entire Episcopal Conference:

“A) To assure to Pope Francis the obedience and communion as Bishops and People of God.

B) Officially request the appointment of San Oscar Arnulfo Romero as Doctor of the Church.

C)The invitation to visit El Salvador and beatify Father Rutilio Grande, SJ “. The Pope listened very pleased to these points and was even seen a smile of acceptance to such requests. Then the Pope said about Saint Oscar Romero: “Saint Oscar Romero knew how to incarnate with perfection the image of the good shepherd, who gives his life for his sheep”.

Finally, after greeting the President of El Salvador, Professor Salvador Sánchez Cerén and his delegation, he returned again smiling to greet the attendees of the event.

Long live Pope Francis, long live our Holy Mother the Church, long live Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero.

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