Centenary of the Birth of Blessed Oscar Romero
Saturday, 23rd September 2017
HE Mrs Elisabeth Hayek Weinmann, Ambassador of El Salvador, attended Evensong commemorating the centenary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 23rd September.
Oscar Romero (15th August 1917 – 24th March 1980) was a prelate of the Catholic Church in El Salvador, who served as the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. Week by week from his pulpit during his three years as Archbishop, Romero confronted the military regime which governed El Salvador. He denounced the human rights violations, the political violence, the corrupt system of justice, the iniquitous land tenure system, and the suffering of El Salvador's poor.
On 24th March 1980 he was shot dead as he celebrated Mass in the chapel of the hospital where he lived. He is one of the 20th Century Martyrs whose statues were placed in 1998 above the Great West Door of the Abbey. He was beatified by Pope Francis in 2015.
During the service, a relic of Archbishop Romero - a piece of the blood-stained alb in which he was martyred - was displayed on the High Altar in a reliquary designed by the Salvadoran artist Fernando Llort.
Julian Filochowski, Chair, Archbishop Romero Trust, laid a wreath beneath Romero’s statue the start of the service.