Óscar Romero

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Ciudad Barrios,
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Leo
Birthday
Birthplace
Ciudad Barrios,

Santiago Romero, often known as ‘Monseor,’ was an El Salvadorian Roman Catholic priest who rose through the ranks to become the Bishop and then the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. His spiritual life was influenced by ‘Opus Dei,’ a well-known Roman Catholic institution. As Archbishop, he witnessed multiple instances of human rights violations and took it upon himself to speak out against them. He supported the poor and denounced the army’s activities using a nonviolent method. Because he was a conservative by temperament, he was frequently despised by priests who supported Marxism. Some inhabitants of the country did not approve of his tactics of addressing societal concerns including as injustice, poverty, and the widespread assassination of priests and nuns. Several prominent priests were slain during his tenure as Archbishop, including Rutilio Grande, Ernesto Barrera, and Napoleón Macas. Romero was shot during a Church mass in 1980, causing a city-wide commotion among his supporters. Many illustrious figures, including US President Barack Obama, have paid tribute to him after his death. For his humanitarian activities as a bishop, Pope John Paul II bestowed the title of ‘Servant of God,’ and Pope Francis just declared him a martyr. Santiago Romero, often known as ‘Monseor,’ was an El Salvadorian Roman Catholic priest who rose through the ranks to become the Bishop and then the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. His spiritual life was influenced by ‘Opus Dei,’ a well-known Roman Catholic institution. As Archbishop, he witnessed multiple instances of human rights violations and took it upon himself to speak out against them. He supported the poor and denounced the army’s activities using a nonviolent method. Because he was a conservative by temperament, he was frequently despised by priests who supported Marxism. Some inhabitants of the country did not approve of his tactics of addressing societal concerns including as injustice, poverty, and the widespread assassination of priests and nuns. Several prominent priests were slain during his tenure as Archbishop, including Rutilio Grande, Ernesto Barrera, and Napoleón Macas. Romero was shot during a Church mass in 1980, causing a city-wide commotion among his supporters. Many illustrious figures, including US President Barack Obama, have paid tribute to him after his death. For his humanitarian activities as a bishop, Pope John Paul II bestowed the title of ‘Servant of God,’ and Pope Francis just declared him a martyr.

Childhood and Adolescence

On August 15, 1917, Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez was born in the town of Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador, to Santos and his wife Guadalupe de Jésus Galdámez. Fr. Cecilio Morales christened the young boy when he was two years old.

Gustavo, Rómulo, Zada, Gaspar, Mamerto, Arnoldo, and Aminta were his seven siblings (who passed away as an infant).

The child attended a government-funded school until third grade, after which Anita Iglesias tutored him at home. Meanwhile, his father taught him the intricacies of carpentry, as employment for the educated was not guaranteed in El Salvador.

In 1937, the thirteen-year-old youngster enrolled in a divinity school in San Miguel and completed his higher studies in theology at San Salvador’s seminary. He went to Rome after his father died to enroll in the ‘Gregorian University.’
Despite the fact that many students returned home due to the developing unrest in Italy during World War II, Romero stayed to finish his theology degree between 1940 and 1941.

Later in life, Romero became a catholic priest in Rome in 1942, but the bishop of El Salvador requested him to return home the next year. He headed out for home with friend Fr. Valladares, but was jailed in Spain by Cuban officials for supposed ties to Italian dictator Mussolini.

Fr. Valladares became critically ill while the two friends were imprisoned. They needed to be taken to a hospital, and priests from the ‘Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer’ assisted them.

The Cubans soon let them go, and the two priests arrived in El Salvador. Joseph began his ministry as a priest at Anamorós for a short time before settling in San Miguel.

During his stay at the Catholic church of San Miguel, the priest made an effort to make a meaningful contribution to society. He founded the ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ organization and aided in the construction of the cathedral. He was appointed Rector of a seminary in San Salvador in acknowledgment of his contributions to the city.

In 1966, he was named Secretary of the ‘Episcopal Conference’ of El Salvador, as well as Director of the archdiocesan weekly ‘Orientación.’ The newspaper would publicize cases of torture and repression in order to raise public awareness.

In 1970, Archbishop Luis Chávez y González of San Salvador appointed the beneficent priest as an assistant. The radical priests were not pleased with Romero’s appointment because he was a conservative.
He was appointed Bishop of the ‘Diocese of Santiago de Mara,’ a rural territory in the province of San Salvador, in December 1975.

On February 23, 1977, he was named Archbishop of San Salvador, a choice that drew mixed reactions. On the one hand, many people appeared to be pleased with his nomination, while others who were not so conservative appeared to be disappointed.

Rutilio Grande, a fellow priest noted for his charity activities for the underprivileged, was slain about a month later. Following Grande’s death, the newly-appointed Archbishop pleaded with the government to intervene, but his appeals were ignored.

He used to deliver weekly sermons on the radio throughout his time as Archbishop. The objective of the broadcast was to inform the public on all of the country’s violations of basic human rights.

He was well-known for his conviction that there were two types of liberation theology: Catholic vision and Marxist belief. The Archbishop stated unequivocally that he supported the Catholic viewpoint but not the opposing one.
Romero’s spiritual beliefs, according to many, instilled various characteristics of Christianity, including love for the Church of Rome, finding God in others, and self-offering to Jesus Christ, among others.

The Archbishop wrote several books during his lifetime, including ‘The Violence of Love,’ ‘The Church Is All of You,’ ‘Voice of the Voiceless,’ and ‘Shepherd’s Diary.’

Major Projects of Óscar Romero

Romero was well-known for his weekly radio sermons, which aimed to educate people about basic human rights and to inform them of the persecution that people faced on a daily basis.
He was also known for publicly criticizing US President Jimmy Carter’s decision to increase military aid to El Salvador’s government, predicting that terrorism and assassination would become widespread.

Achievements & Awards

This renowned Archbishop was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978-79 by 119 British statesmen and 26 American diplomats.

In February 1980, the ‘Catholic University of Louvain’ in Belgium bestowed upon him an honorary degree, which he accepted from Pope John Paul II.

Personal History and Legacy

On March 24, 1980, a day after giving a speech to Salvadorean soldiers urging them to obey God’s mandate and cease exploiting the poor, the Archbishop was assassinated. The holy Mass was said in the ‘La Divina Providencia’ hospital’s modest chapel.

On March 30, 1980, at the ‘Metropolitan Cathedral’ in San Salvador, he was laid to rest, and his funeral service was attended by almost 250,000 people from all around the world. On the same day, numerous people who had gone to pay their respects to the priest were killed in bomb assaults believed to be carried out by the army.

The ‘Irish-El Salvador Support Committee’ has held a mass every March since the Archbishop’s death to pay tribute.
Jorge Antunes of Brazil composed a choral-symphony titled ‘Elegia Violeta para Monsenhor Romero’ in 1981 as a homage to the legendary priest. The song included remarks from the Archbishop as well as statements from Communist leader Che Guevara.

Movies like “Choices of the Heart,” “Salvador,” and “Romero” featured strong references to the assassinated priest in the late 1980s. The latter, directed by John Duigan and starring Ral Juliá, was the first Hollywood film to accept funding from the Roman Catholic Church, and it was warmly received.

Pope John Paul II posthumously consecrated him as a “Servant of God” in 1997, providing justification for his canonization (declaration as a saint) and beatification (giving him the title of “Blessed”).
The next year, sculptor John Roberts unveiled an Oscar Romero statue, which now stands at Westminster Abbey in London.

In 2008, the European magazine ‘A Different View’ named Romero one of the ’15 Champions of World Democracy.’
After years of denial, it was revealed in 2010 that the assassination was carried out on the orders of Major Roberto D’Aubuisson, the founder of the ‘Nationalist Republican Alliance’ political organization. Despite being suspected previously, the conclusion was reached after his driver Rafael Alvaro Saravia testified in a US court.

Óscar Romero Net Worth

Oscar is one of the wealthiest Religious Leaders and one of the most well-known Religious Leaders. According to our research, Romero’s net worth is around $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

Trivia

The beatification of this well-known priest is scheduled for May 2015 in San Salvador.