Romero’s Relics

Carmelite Sister Maria Julia Garcia shows some of Archbishop Oscar Romero's relics at a museum in San Salvador.

When Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980, the vestments he wore were bathed in blood. After the attack, Carmelite nuns who managed Divine Providence Hospital in El Salvador kept them and other belongings with the greatest possible care. For 35 years, the congregation and the sisters running the hospital have taken care of the relics. Now Archbishop Romero is scheduled to be beatified in San Salvador on May 23 and the government may declare the chapel a National Cultural Heritage site. Sister María Julia García, the Carmelite superior and director of the hospital, worries that this would put the sisters in a very awkward situation because they would have no say in the care of the relics. “We, as the moral owners of these relics, fear that they will be taken away from us and relocated to another place, where they would not be treated with respect,” she said.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, primate of the Episcopal Church, speaks during the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Owen Humphreys/pool photo via AP)
Fabricated and impersonal, too many Catholic preachers hide themselves, forgetting that personality matters in preaching,
In this image made from video, Archbishop Philip Wilson, center, heads to Newcastle Local Court, north of Sydney, Australia Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)
Philip Wilson was found guilty of failing to inform police about allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by a priest in the 1970s.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 22, 2018
The Holy Spirit might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity.
James Martin, S.J.May 21, 2018
Pope Francis walks past cardinals as he leaves a consistory in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican June 28, 2017. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis is trying to ensure that those who elect his successor are humble men committed to “a church of the poor and for the poor.”
Gerard O’ConnellMay 21, 2018