Next Saturday 14 August is the 104th anniversary of the birth of St Oscar Romero. To mark the occasion, there will be a special Mass celebrated in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark at 12:00 noon. The principal celebrant will be Bishop Nicholas Hudson, auxiliary bishop of Westminster and Trustee of the Romero Trust. The Mass will also be live streamed at romerotrust.org.uk. Julian Filochowski, the Chair of the Archbishop Romero Trust, said: “We very much hope everyone might be able to join us either at the Cathedral or online.”
Oscar Romero was the Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977 until his assassination in 1980. He spoke out against violations of human rights in El Salvador, denouncing violence and supporting victims of the civil war. Given press censorship, his weekly radio broadcasts were often the only way people knew what was really happening in their country.
On the day before his assassination, he urged soldiers and police not to follow orders to kill civilians: “The peasants you kill are your own brothers and sisters. When you hear a man telling you to kill, remember God’s words, ‘Thou shalt not kill’. In the name of God, and in the name of this suffering people, whose laments rise to heaven each day more tumultuous, I beg you, I beseech you, I order you in the name of God: stop the repression!”
He was shot dead during Mass on 24 March 1980, aged 62. Let us ask the prayers of St Oscar Romero for us and for all, especially for a resolution of the conflicts in Cameroon and in Afghanistan.