The Church and government in El Salvador are preparing together for the beatification ceremony of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador taking place this Saturday, reported Fides.
Local sources say some 250,000 people, more than 12 heads of state and a security system, never been seen before in the nation’s capital of San Salvador. The beatification will be held at the Plaza Las Americas, with the statue of the capital’s patron saint, El Salvador del Mundo, present.
In recent days, “El Salvador prepares the most important days of its history” has become one of the most circulated headlines in the nation’s capital.
“We have waited 35 years,” said a woman who every day took part in the Mass celebrated at the tomb of Archbishop Romero.
Parish communities and Catholic movements are getting ready to participate, beginning with a pilgrimage on Friday at 4 p.m., beginning at the cathedral to the chapel of the martyred archbishop’s tomb. On Saturday, more than 1,100 priests will gather in the seminary where Romero studied.
Among the suggested activities for the centennial are series of lectures on the life of the Blessed, to be held in public and private schools. Archbishop José Luis Escobar of San Salvador, said this initiative intends to pass on the message of love and unity offered by Romero to his people.
The Church also wishes to restore the Y.S.A.X. radio “The Pan-American Voice”, through which Archbishop Romero broadcasted his homilies which reached all people. For this reason, the radio suffered two bomb attacks against its facilities in 1980.
Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s international charity organization, yesterday adopted the Salvadoran priest as a third patron at the close of its general assembly.
Archbishop Romero spoke out against the Revolutionary Government Junta’s, especially their repressing of human rights. While celebrating Mass at a local chapel on March 24, 1980, the Salvadoran prelate was assassinated.
In 1990, his cause for canonization began. In 1997, Pope John Paul II formally accepted it, but then the process slowed following the Polish Pope’s death. After Pope Benedict XVI’s election, several liturgical changes to the Congregation of the Causes of Saints further delayed the cause.
This February, Pope Francis cleared the path for Archbishop Romero’s canonization. (D.C.L.)