Romero Beatification

Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador is seen in undated photo working in improvised radio studio.

The beatification of El Salvador’s martyred Archbishop Óscar Romero will take place during a ceremony in El Salvador on May 23, the day before Pentecost Sunday. The date was announced on March 11 by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, postulator of Romero’s cause for sainthood, in El Salvador. According to a report in Avvenire, the weekly newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, the announcement came on the eve of another significant anniversary, that of the assassination on March 12, 1977, of the Salvadoran Rutilio Grande, S.J., three years before the death of Romero. The cause for the canonization of this early victim of repression by the Salvadoran military will parallel Romero’s cause, according to Archbishop Paglia. He told reporters in El Salvador that a “close bond” unites Romero and Grande from a “theological and pastoral perspective,” because “it is impossible to understand Romero without understanding Rutilio Grande.” According to the report, Pope Francis met Grande once in the 1970s, though they did not talk together. Pope Francis described him as a priest who “left the center to go to the peripheries,” a model that has become a familiar refrain of his pontificate.

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