BEATIFICATION OF ARCHBISHOP ROMERO, MAY 23, 2015
San Salvador Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas announced during the patronal celebrations of the Divine Savior of the World that from August 15 of this year through August 15, 2017 a jubilee year will be observed, on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero. “We make the official proclamation regarding the centenary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero,” said the Archbishop. “The Jubilee Year will begin on August 15 at 5:00 pm with a Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral.”
A “jubilee year” or “Holy Year” in the Catholic Church is a time when spiritual graces are granted to the faithful who meet certain conditions, in imitation of the jubilee year of the Israelites mentioned in the Old Testament, which was a time for rest, during which slaves were freed, the land was not worked, and possessions that had been acquired were restituted.
The announcement of the Jubilee for the Blessed Romero centennial was made before thousands of faithful gathered before the facade of the cathedral where the mortal remains of the martyred archbishop rest. “We hope that when the jubilee year is over, Archbishop Romero will have already been declared a saint,” said Archbishop Escobar, prompting applause from the faithful upon hearing the name of the first Salvadoran blessed. Romero’s canonization cause in Rome is waiting for a proven miracle that can be attributed to his intercession.
Blessed Romero was born on August 15, 1917 in Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador. After a life dedicated to various ecclesiastical duties, he was appointed Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977, during an acute political and social conflict. As archbishop, he made a mark as a “zealous pastor” defender of the poor and staunch critic of human rights abuses. He was killed by the extreme right in 1980, and after an intense ecclesiastical process, was declared a martyr and beatified by the Church in May 2015.
Other organizations have also joined the commemoration of Blessed Romero. Cultura Romeriana, an association with which this blog is affiliated, is also planning activities, including a pilgrimage to Ciudad Barrios on Sunday August14, leaving from the Metropolitan Cathedral. The group will be present at the Mass for the official start of the jubilee year to hand out a Romero Rosary recently approved by the Church.
The “Archbishop Romero National Committee” has organized various activities around the anniversary, including a day of solidarity with patients at the Divine Providence Hospital where Romero lived and was killed. The group will celebrate Mass on Saturday August 13, at 8:00 am where food, some bedding, and paper will be collected, to benefit the sick in the hospital. On August 28, a mini marathon from the Divine Providence Hospital to the Divine Savior of the World monument will be held. Parallel to the activity, a medical campaign will be offered by FOSALUD doctors to provide consultations to people who want them as part of the activities.
The commemorative activities will not be limited to the national borders. In London, the Romero Trust will hold a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of St. George in Southwark, on August 13 at 12:30 pm local time. The Mass will be presided by Bishop Patrick Lynch,.