1917 – 1639
Feast Day: March 24
“The Bible has a very meaningful expression: The Spirit makes all things new. We are those who grow old, and we want everything done to our aged standards. The Spirit is never old; the Spirit is always young.”
St. Romero was born on August 15, 1917, given the birth name of Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez. St. Romero was born in Ciudad Barrios, of the department of San Miguel, in El Salvador. St. Romero was the second of seven children. His sibling’s names were Gustavo, Rómulo, Zaída, Gaspar, Mamerto, Arnoldo and Aminta born to Santo Romero and Guadalupe de Jesus Galdamez. St. Romero’s father would receive messages through a telegram and St. Romero would spread the messages and his mother was an administrator for mail, and then he would deliver the letters. St. Romero attended a government-aided school until 3rd grade, and then he was taught at home by Anita Iglesias. His father showed him the nuances of carpentry, but his goal was to become a priest, so at 13 he joined a divinity school in San Miguel and then pursued his higher studies of theology from San Salvador seminary in 1937.
After St. Romero’s father died, he travelled to Rome to get enrolled in the “Gregorian University”. Throughout the WW2 even though many students went back home due to the growing turmoil in Italy. St. Romero stayed to complete his degree in theology during 1940 – 1941. 1942, St. Romero became a catholic priest in Rome, but the next year he was asked to return home by the bishop at El Salvador. Along with friend Fr. Valladares, he set out for home, but was detained in Spain by Cuban officials for suspected association with Italian dictator Mussolini.
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St. Romero and his friend were both imprisoned, in which Fr. Valladares became very ill. They were transferred to a hospital, with help from priest belonging to the “Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer”. Soon they were let go by the Cubans, and they reached El Salvador. During his time in the catholic church of San Miguel he formed an “Alcoholic Anonymous “association and helped in building the cathedral. Afterwards he was made a rector of a seminary in San Miguel. In 1966, he was made Secretary of El Salvador’s ‘Episcopal Conference’, and the Director of the archdiocesan weekly ‘Orientación’ (orientation). The paper would publish instances of torture and repression, in order to create more awareness among the citizens of El Salvador.
St. Romero began his career as a priest in Anamorós, and then settled down in San Miguel. St. Romero first started studying in a divinity school in San Miguel at 13, and then after that he studied theology in San Salvador seminary in 1937. He spoke for the voiceless/poor in El Salvador and never gave up even in his last moments. St. Romero spoke for the poor who had no voice because of their social class. On March 24, 1980, a day after the Archbishop had given a speech to the Salvadorian soldiers to heed God’s call and stop taking advantage of the poor, he was assassinated by soldiers at the age of 62. There was a holy Mass that took place at a small chapel in ‘La Divina Providencia’ hospital. St. Romero was buried on March 30, 1980, at the ‘Metropolitan Cathedral’, in San Salvador. His funeral was attended by around 250,000 followers from all around the world and not just from El Salvador. The same day, there were bomb attacks probably suspected to have been the work of soldiers from the army, killing several people who had come to pay respect to St. Romero.
Some major works or miracles St. Romero did were weekly sermons that were broadcast on the radio, with the intention of educating people about basic human rights and letting them know of the oppression people faced every day. Also as previously mentioned he spoke for the poor without fear of the military or death, as well as making a group for heling people who suffer from alcoholism. St. Romero has a shrine named The Blessing of the Diocesan Shrine to St Oscar Romero, and a new shrine gate. Their also campaigns and fundraisers for the poor named after him. St. Romero was Canonized on October 14, 2018 (very recently) by Pope Francis at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy. The ceremony featured 7 new saints including St. Romero in which people of many places attended. St. Romero’s feast day is on March 24 and is celebrated all around the world with festivals and special masses that I have even attended here in Maryland. St. Romero is a patron saint of the poor, and the patron of El Salvador.
What appealed to me about this saint was that he was a saint from the same country as me, and because he recently became a saint, so I was able to witness it on television. The reason I picked him is because I have been wanting to do a biography on him for a long time but also because I have done presentations on him for school. I wasn’t named after this saint, although I think that would be cool and nobody, I know of in my family was named after him. I think I am like this saint because I have given to the poor which is a little bit like St. Romero and we are from the same country and back in El Salvador I was also of the department of San Miguel in Anchico. I would like to have the courage of St. Romero because he could speak for the poor even though he probably knew he could get killed. You can learn that anything is possible, like how St. Romero was just a normal boy who lived in a city and also struggled with poverty, but now he is a saint that did many things for the poor and an inspiration for the poor as well as an idol. Also, how even though he had a very hard life he never stopped going for his goal to become a priest, and he was blessed even more by being made a saint. He also went to many schools and places to learn more about God and theology and even went to Rome to learn more.
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