Pope Francis has chosen Salesian Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, Archbishop of Santiago, Chile, as his special envoy for the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Blessed Bishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, planned in San Salvador, El Salvador, August 15, 2017.
A pontifical mission, made up of Monsignor Rafael Edgardo Urrutia Herrera, chancellor of the Archdiocese of San Salvador and episcopal vicar for lay movements and associations, and Fr. Reinaldo Sorto Martinez, parish priest of the parish of San Jose de la Montana, episcopal vicar of pastoral care and director of San Jose radio will accompany the special envoy.
In a letter in Latin, dated July 18, 2017 and published by the Holy See on Saturday, August 5, 2017, the Pope says that he was invited to the celebration and that is the reason why he is being represented by the Chilean Cardinal.
The Pope paid tribute to Blessed Oscar Romero, “bishop and martyr,” born “100 years” ago, on August 15, 1917, in Ciudad Barrios, and murdered on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass in the Chapel of the Divine Providence hospital in San Salvador.
In his letter, the Holy Father stressed that Blessed Romero was an “illustrious pastor and witness of the Gospel: a “defender of the Church and of human dignity,” herald of “the saving work” of Christ, manifested in his “love for all, especially the poor, the abandoned and the marginalized,” seeking to promote “reconciliation and peace.”
Blessed Romero, beatified at San Salvador on May 23, 2015, as martyr, could be canonized if a miracle due to his intercession is authenticated.