Saturday, March 23, 2013

Monseñor, vives hoy

This video by Fabrizio Villegas includes powerful moments and images from Monseñor Oscar Romero's life.  I especially love that it begins with one of my favorite nuns here, tiny Sr. Benedita, touring us through Monseñor's house on the grounds of the Hospitalito (Hospital Divina Providencia, where he lived and died).  Then, about 4:07 minutes in, close to the end, there's video of Monseñor's visit to one of the many slums built along abandoned railroad tracks (because that was and is public ground, unused, and an easy place to take possession and build a shack of cardboard and tin) - perhaps the railroad tracks near the church Maria, Madre de los Pobres in the La Chacra neighborhood of San Salvador.  I'm moved by the three unidentified Sisters who accompany Monseñor, clearly Sisters who work in this slum and are showing him around.  It reminds me that communities of women religious have long been present with the poorest among us.

We celebrated Monseñor Romero's life and martyrdom today, on the eve of the day he died (since tomorrow is Palm Sunday).  I missed the main celebration - apparently the Archbishop was here in Suchitoto and it was a grand celebration, but I was on an errand of mercy in the capital, and was too late to join in - but the evening Mass was also dedicated to Monseñor on the 33rd anniversary of his death.  After communion the choir sang one of my favorite canciones (words and music by Alvar Castillo) - the chorus is:

Monseñor vives hoy
en el corazon
del pueblo que tanto te amó.
Monseñor tu verdad
nos hace marchar
a la victoria final.

Monseñor you live today
in the heart
of the people who loved you so much.
Monseñor your truth
makes us march
toward the final victory.

And at the end of the mass we all proclaimed together "Que vive Monseñor Romero!  Que vive!"  With the election of Pope Francis, with his passion for the poor, Salvadorans have hope that the canonization of Monseñor Romero will take place at last - but then the people have always known that he is San Romero de las Americas, pastor, prophet and martyr for the people he loved so much.

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