11 March 2015, The Tablet

Oscar Romero to be beatified on 23 May

Archbishop Oscar Romero is due to be beatified on 23 May, the day before Pentecost, according to Italian media reports.  

A news conference is taking place today in the country that was expected to establish the date of the beatification ceremony for the martyred Archbishop of San Salvador.  

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the postulator of Romero’s cause, travelled to the country this week to give details of the event, expected to take place outside in the Plaza El Salvador del Mundo (Divine Saviour Square).

Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, is due to preside at the ceremony, which observers are predicting will be attended by a million people.

The current Archbishop of San Salvador, José Luis Escobar Alas, has said the venue is both practical in terms of space and is symbolic, as the Divine Saviour is the patron saint of the country.

In February, Pope Francis officially recognised Romero – hailed for standing against injustice in his country and assassinated by agents of the state while saying Mass in 1980 – as a martyr.

He was ratifying a decision by theologians of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints which declared that Romero had been murdered in odium fidei (in hatred of the faith.)

Announcing the beatification date today is significant as it is also the eve of the anniversary of the death of Fr Rutilio Grande, the Jesuit priest whose murder in 1977 is widely seen as a turning point in Romero’s ministry and spurred him into speaking out against Government injustices.  

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