Óscar Romero (1917-1980)
“Let us not tire of preaching love; it is the force that will overcome the world.”
Óscar Romero led an incredible life speaking up for the poor communities in El Salvador during a time of political unrest and violence. He always chose to put the most vulnerable people first, even in difficult times.
Born in El Salvador, Romero learned to become a carpenter at a young age and began studying for the priesthood at age 14. He became a priest, then bishop, and later was appointed as Archbishop of San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. Many expected him to be meek and compliant. How wrong they were! He had a fire for justice burning within him.
Romero was a CAFOD partner from 1977. Through the continued unrest in El Salvador, Romero would speak out against the violence occurring and would provide comfort to affected families. His sermons were broadcasted on national radio. When the radio station was bombed, CAFOD helped to rebuild it so that he could continue. In his last sermon, just before he was martyred, he said ‘those who out of love for Christ give themselves to the service of others will live, like the grain of wheat that dies.’ He was a symbol of hope and peace for El Salvador and was recognised as a martyr and beatified by Pope Francis in 2015.
You can read more about Óscar Romero at Britannica