- Mar 29, 2020
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.
Even as the government of El Salvador announced a nationwide quarantine, hundreds flocked to a pilgrimage site March 12 to remember a Jesuit priest and his companions killed 43 years ago and declared martyrs by Pope Francis in February.
Retired Bishop Eduardo Alas Alfaro, a Salvadoran prelate and contemporary of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who makes several appearances in the published diary of the Salvadoran saint, died in his native Chalatenango Feb. 27, the 32nd anniversary of his ordination as bishop. He was 89.
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.