“If God accepts the sacrifice of my life, may my death be for the freedom of my people … A bishop will die, but the Church of God, which is the people, will never perish.” Monseñor Romero, March 1980
Standing infront of the altar, with Oscar Romero’s beatification just hours away, I looked out at the sea of people gathered together for this momentous occasion. As I stood before these tens of thousands of people I was moved to tears in the realization that these are the beloved of Oscar Romero. As I type this post from inside the press booth, I can hear his beloved chanting, “‘Romero esta presente!” I cannot help but think that it is in Romero’s beloved pronouncing these words, that Romero is truly made present in this moment. El pueblo, the people of El Salvador, are truly a sacrament – making the spirit of Romero, and of the living God, extraordinarily palpable.
In my opinion, this beatification is a victory because now, more than ever before, El Salvador will be seen as a candle with a light to offer the entire universal Church. My prayer is that this beatification will set the world aflame with the spirit of Romero and with the spirit of his beloved pueblo. In doing so, it is important that this beatification seeks to accurately represent the reality of Salvadoran life, and that it speaks to the daily existence of his beloved pueblo. Will the beatification live up to this task? Will the universal Church allow this light, the reality of Romero’s beloved, to guide Her?
Throughout the rest of today (as well as in the days that follow) Leo Guardado, Christine McCarthy, and Meg Stapleton Smith will be posting reflections on their time at the beatification.