Monday, March 13, 2017

Pope Francis will concelebrate commemoration of martyrdom of Archbishop Romero


#BlessedRomero #Beatification

Pope Francis will concelebrate a festive Mass in commemoration of the martyrdom of Blessed Oscar Romero, accompanied by all the bishops of El Salvador in the Chapel of the Santa Marta House—the residence of the pontiff—on Tuesday, March 21st.

This year marks the centennial of the birth of the Salvadoran martyr, who was beatified in 2015, and the anniversary of his martyrdom this March 24 coincides with the “ad limina” visit of the Salvadoran bishops to the successor of Peter, an occasion that the bishops will use to urge the prompt Canonization of Romero, having reported a miracle through his intercession.  [The latest in the process]

The Apostolic Nuncio in El Salvador—the official representative of the pope in the country—Archbishop Leon Kalenga, announced the news about the concelebration during a mass in El Salvador to mark the fourth anniversary of the election of the Pope, held in the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador and attended by high ranking officials of the Church and the country, including President Salvador Sánchez Cerén, who took advantage of the occasion to announce that he will send a letter to the Pontiff asking that Romero be canonized during the centennial year .

The Holy Father will gladly concelebrate the Eucharist with all our bishops, who will offer it in memory of Blessed Oscar Romero,” said Nuncio Kalenga. The festive concelebration for Romero's martyrdom would be the first to include papal participation, and stands out as an unusual commemoration for a martyr who has not yet been canonized. However, Pope Francis is known for his tendency to break with protocol, for example when he offered a mass for the French priest Jacques Hamel, who was murdered in 2016, and whom the pope called a “martyr” despite not having been yet officially recognized as such by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. On the other hand, it is not unusual for the pope to concelebrate his morning masses in the chapel of his residence with visiting prelates—in fact, this is an everyday occurrence.

The Santa Marta House Chapel.
During his homily, the Nuncio also said that all the information regarding Romero’s miracles is already in the hands of Pope Francis. “We have worked hard in recent months with the Ecclesiastical Tribunal to approve Romero’s miracles,” said the Nuncio. The tribunal, convened by the Salvadoran Church, concluded its work in late February and forwarded its report to the Vatican, in hopes that it would bear fruit in time for the visit to the pope in March. It is unclear whether Archbishop Kalenga meant that information about the miracle has come directly to the pope, personally, or whether he was referring to the normal process in which material is sent to his representatives in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which is in charge of investigating and advancing the cause.

We will continue to monitor developments in the process.

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