- Mar 1, 2021
The year 1980 was a bloody one for tiny El Salvador. In the early months of that year, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, who had seen and heard of the disappearances and killings of civilians, was doing everything possible to avert a full-fledged war.
As the Catholic Church in El Salvador declared a jubilee year for its martyrs, whispers were already circulating, hinting at the possibility that the country would receive news from Rome of several new beatified Salvadorans this year.
n life, El Salvador’s St. Oscar Romero had an open line of communication with the church in the United States, whose leaders and laity often supported the archbishop of San Salvador when he objected to military aid or training of the country’s government troops, paid for by U.S. taxpayer money.
The Vatican announced Feb. 22 that Pope Francis has recognized the martyrdom of a fellow Jesuit, Salvadoran Father Rutilio Grande, and two companions who were murdered en route to a novena in 1977 in El Salvador.
At 51, Bishop Oswaldo Escobar Aguilar is the youngest prelate of El Salvador, and one notably influenced by his country’s Catholic martyrs.
Pope Francis rued what he called a tendency to see some cultures as “second-class civilizations,” which, he said, “distances us from the reality of a people and separates us from them, which is disrespect.”