In a letter sent to the Archbishop of San Salvador, Pope Francis expressed his joy at the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero.
The martyred prelate’s beatification took place in a Mass on Saturday presided by Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Recalling the slain archbishop’s ministry, the Holy Father said that God granted the Church a ‘zealous Bishop’ who became the image of the Good Shepherd.
“In times of difficult coexistence, Archbishop Romero knew how to lead, defend and protect his flock, remaining faithful to the Gospel and in communion with the whole Church,” the Pope stated.
“His ministry was distinguished by a particular attention to the most poor and marginalized. And in the moment of his death, while he celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of love and reconciliation, he received the grace to identify himself fully with He who gave his life for his sheep.”
The Holy Father went on to thank God for the Archbishop who, he noted, had the ability to see and hear the suffering of his people.
Continuing his message, Pope Francis said that even today, Blessed Romero’s life is a call for unity, especially within the Church.
“The voice of the newly Blessed continues to resonate today to remind us that the Church, a convocation of brothers surrounding their Lord, is God’s family, in which there should be no division,” he said.
Following his example, the Pope called on the Church in El Salvador to be a sign of mercy and reconciliation in society.
Blessed Romero’s life, he continued, calls on the faithful to “renounce ‘the violence of the sword, of hate’ and to live ‘the violence of love, that left Christ nailed to the Cross, that makes each one of us overcome selfishness and so that there be no more such cruel inequality between us.'”
Concluding his message, Pope Francis reminded the people of El Salvador that the beatification is “a favorable moment for a true national reconciliation.”
“The Pope participates in your hopes, and unites Himself to your prayers so that the seed of martyrdom may flourish and become entrenched in the true paths of the sons and daughters of that nation, which proudly hears the name of the divine Savior of the World,” he wrote.
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On ZENIT’s website”
For the full text of the Pope’s message, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-message-on-beatification-of-archbishop-oscar-romero