Remembered on this day, 24th March.
Romero was shot through the heart by a sniper while celebrating mass in a hospital chapel on 24 March 1980, the day after he had called on the military to stop killing innocent civilians in El Salvador’s dirty war. Numerous death threats had been made against him.
In his diaries, Romero wrote: “Between the powerful and the wealthy, and the poor and vulnerable, who should a pastor side with? I have no doubts. A pastor should stay with his people.” His sermons, demanding social justice for poor people and excoriating politicians and military leaders, reached hundreds of thousands of people via radio broadcasts.
Oscar Romero is revered in his native El Salvador. He ranks alongside the likes of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi as one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century. Romero denounced the violence which was tearing his country apart, he spoke out against oppression, and stood against injustice alongside people living in poverty.
A Future Not Our Own – Archbishop Oscar Romero
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the Church's mission. No set of goals and objectives include everything.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water the seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
This is love.
That you spoke words of comfort, walked with the unclean and unloved, shared wisdom, bread and wine, brought healing into lives,
and challenged the status-quo.
This is love.
That you walked a painful road to the Cross, shared living water,
bread of life,
and died for the sake of all.