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.


The latest from america

I have found myself for the first time truly afraid of what it means to ask and to allow my children to be part of the church.
Kerry WeberAugust 15, 2018
Cardinal William H. Keeler in May 2009. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) 
A Pennsylvania report accuses Keeler of covering up sexual abuse allegations while serving as bishop of Harrisburg.
Associated PressAugust 15, 2018
With her appeal to emotion, Gadsby reminds audiences to see the vulnerable, resilient human being behind the humiliated stand-up comic.
Allyson EscobarAugust 15, 2018
Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and Deacon Bernie Nojadera, executive director of the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection, are pictured during the 2017 Catholic convocation in Orlando, Fla.  (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
“Our first job is to listen, to be empathetic,” said Deacon Bernie Nojadera, the executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for the Protection of Children and Young People.