Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana, spoke in favor of the beatification of Archbishop Oscar A. Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, who was killed in March 1980 while celebrating mass. Cardinal Ortega made these statements in the homily for the closing of the Fifth Eucharistic Congress of El Salvador, which he attended as the pope’s personal representative.
Ortega recalled in his homily that the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples was surrounded by a “climate of pain and suspicion.”
“The atmosphere of this meal, loaded with tension, makes us think about the last Mass that Archbishop Romero could not finish: and now, in this celebration, we feel him close to us and we ask the Lord to grant him the honors of the altars,” added the Cuban Cardinal.
Ortega prayed that “the Eucharist celebrated every day” and “the one that Archbishop Romero could not conclude, may grant this beloved country, which takes the name of the Savior of the world [El Salvador means “The Savior”—Ed.], a great desire for reconciliation, a total rejection of violence and sowing of peace in the hearts and in society.”
Ortega has also visited the tomb of Archbishop Romero and the chapel of the Divine Providence Hospital where Romero lived. Ortega prayed for the prompt canonization of Archbishop Romero in the chapel where he was killed. He also greeted some patients who reside there.The Mass for the Eucharistic Congress was also attended by Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga and other Central American bishops. This Mass was not only the closure of the V National Eucharistic Congress, but also the centenary of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, and the Dioceses of Santa Ana and San Miguel. Dozens of priests and seminarians and 70,000 faithful expressed their joy and enthusiasm with loud applause when Romero’s name was invoked.