Wednesday, March 24, 2010

San Romero of the Americas

Today, speaking as head of the Salvadoran state, President Mauricio Funes asked pardon for the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero, Funes said he apologized because the state failed to investigate the murder. For this story and a link to a BBC radio program about Romero, go to Tim's El Salvador Blog.

Today the Chapel of the Hospital Divina Providencia, the Hospitalito where Monseñor Romero lived and where he was shot 30 years ago today was crammed with people - Salvadorans, delegations from other countries, youth groups, labor organizations. Although the big memorial march took place last weekend, today's ceremony, which began with Mass at the Hospitalito and proceeded to the Cathedral, was full and moving. His words were spoken in Spanish, in English, through many different voices. His message and his fearless example have lost none of their force. The message on the back of one of the official T-shirts for sale today is: Bienaventurados los liberadores que ponen su fuerza no en las armas, no en el secuestro, no en la violencia, ni en el dinero, sino que saben que la liberación tiene que venir de Dios; que sera conjugación maravillosa del poder liberador de Dios y del esfuerzo cristiano de los hombres. [Blessed are the liberators who place their strength not in arms, not in kidnapping, not in violence, not in money, but who know that liberation has to come from God; that it will be a marvellous combination of the liberating power of God and the Christian efforts of people.]

Here are two photographs from the day - one of the march in progress, and one of my friend Mercedes Arias holding a Romero poster. I particularly liked this poster because it uses the same image our Congregation leadership used in our recent gatherings, of a seedling. Here the seedling springs from a cracked and parched land. New hope, new possibilities: a marvellous combination of the liberating power of God and our efforts.

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