Another picture reflection from my friend Joyce Smith.
“This little cygnet is trying to use his voice on behalf of others!
This year is the 40th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Oscar Romero, beatified in 2015. In 2018 Pope Francis declared him a saint.
As Archbishop of San Salvador he spoke up for the ordinary people who were living in increasing poverty whilst the ruling elite gained more and more political and economic power.
There was civil unrest which led to the military murdering many to such a degree that Oscar Romero appealed to them to stop killing their own people. “No soldier is obliged to obey an order which goes against the law of God,” he said. . “I beseech you. I beg you. I command you! In the name of God: ‘Cease the repression!”
He had become the voice of the voiceless and, as such was a target for Assassination.
At 6.30pm, on Monday 24 March 1980, he was celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Divine Providence hospital. A car pulled up outside, and a single gunman fired a single shot from the doorway straight into Oscar Romero’s heart. Moments earlier, the Archbishop had been speaking about how “those who surrender to the service of the poor through love of Christ, will live like the grain of wheat that dies…”.
He knew it was likely and had warned, I must tell you, as a Christian, I do not believe in death without resurrection. If I am killed, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people.
A statue to this modern martyr, by the sculptor John Roberts, was unveiled in Westminster Abbey in July 1998.
At the ceremony of canonization, Pope Francis wore the blood-stained belt that Oscar Romero was wearing when he was shot.