Tuesday, April 25, 2017



#BlessedRomero #Beatification
General Update:

This is the latest on Archbishop Romero’s canonization process as of Tuesday, April 25, 2017.  A link to this post will be kept at the top of the blog and will be updated regularly.
On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, the Archdiocese of San Salvador closed the diocesan phase of an investigation into an alleged miracle by Blessed Oscar Romero, who was beatified in May 2015.  The Postulator of the Cause, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, told Catholic News Service on Thursday, March 23 that officials at the Congregation for Saints’ Causes had opened the documentation concerning the alleged miracle and would begin studying it March 24.

The miracle, if confirmed, would allow Romero to canonized, becoming the first Salvadoran saint.  The findings must be confirmed by the Vatican.  Experts maintain that the approval process normally takes six to eighteen months and Pope Francis has recently told Salvadoran bishops that he intends to let the process run its normal course and not accelerate it, leaving it an open question whether Romero can be canonized during this centennial year, as many would like.
The approval process takes place in Rome in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and will come in four phases. 
  • First, the miracle must be approved by a 7-person commission of medical experts. 
  • Secondly, that finding must be ratified by a 6-person commission of theologians. 
  • Third, the finding must also be approved by the fourteen Cardinals and the bishops of the Congregation.
  • Fourth and finally, following all those approvals, the Congregation draws up a decree recognizing the miracle which is presented to Pope Francis for final approval.
Manuel Roberto Lopez Barrera, Ambassador of El Salvador to the Holy See, confirmed in an interview given at the headquarters of Vatican Radio on March 22, 2017 that for “the recognition of the miracle, there are four stages including a medical commission, a commission of theologians, cardinals and bishops and then the Pope, who will decide on the day of the canonization.”  As of Tuesday, April 25, 2017, there are no reports that any of these four approvals have occurred yet.

The Salvadoran bishops went to Rome for their “Ad Limina” visits with Pope Francis and the Roman Curia.  After the first, nearly three-hour meeting with the Pope on March 20, the Military Ordinary, Bishop Fabio Colindres said that the investigation of the miracle by the Vatican authorities “seems to be following a very good process, it is on track, [but] not yet concluded, expecting it to be in the best way.” The bishop said that “naturally, there are no dates for canonization nor a date for a possible visit of the Pope to El Salvador.” According to Bishop Colindres, the Pope smiled “with great affection and said ‘we will see, the time will come, I can not give hard dates now’.”  Similarly, the auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, Msgr. Gregorio Rosa Chavez, revealed that Francis told the prelates that “we must respect the rhythms of the Holy See” and that the cause for the canonization must follow its course without acceleration.

On Wednesday, March 22, 2015, the Salvadoran bishops visited the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and met with its Prefect, Cardinal Angelo Amato.  According to reports, the prefect assured them that the cause “is not in the freezer. According to the military bishop Fabio Colindres, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints “is inviting us to make Romero more and better known, and that he is and has been a great saint.”
Left to right: Msgr. Jose Gregorio Rosa Chavez, Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador; Msgr. Miguel Angel Moran Aquino, Bishop of Santa Ana; Msgr. Elias Samuel Bolanos Avelar, S.D.B., Bishop of Zacatecoluca; Msgr. Jose Luis Escobar Alas, Archbishop of San Salvador; Angelo Cardinal Amato, S.D.B., Prefecto of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Msgr. Fabio Reynaldo Colindres Abarca, Bishop of El Salvador, Military; Msgr. Luis Morao Andreazza, O.F.M., Bishop Emeritus of Chalatenango; Msgr. Jose Elias Rauda Gutierrez, O.F.M., Bishop of San Vicente; Msgr. Oswaldo Estefano Escobar Aguilar, O.C.D., Bishop of Chalatenango; Msgr. William Ernesto Iraheta Rivera, Bishop of Santiago de Maria; and Msgr. Constantino Barrera Morales, Bishop of Sonsonate.


Let me say that this “four-part decision” has some caveats. First, there are other parts. There will be a review of the validity of the San Salvador process; a «positio» or summation document of the miracle must be put together—we are simplifying all of that here. Those procedural steps can be quite significant.  For example, the validity review is a prerequisite to the other steps and must be obtained before the process can move forward.  In the canonization of Mother Teresa, obtaining the decree on the validity of the diocesan inquiry within three months allowed the Roman process to move forward at lightning speed; the rest of the process also lasted about three months.  (In the case of John Paul II, that same step took over one year.)

Most importantly: I do not want to imply that we are going to find out when each step is completed. We may not know until the four parts have been fulfilled. During the beatification, we did have notice of the individual moves, and I think that same level of information can be expected in this process.

If we learn of these approvals in real-time, they will probably come with a lapse of time in between each step: normally there will be four different dates. In the beatification we saw an exception, because the same day that the cardinals approved the martyrdom decree, they delivered it to the pope and he gave his approval on the same day as the cardinals (the theologians’ vote had been a month prior). That is unusual. There may be an “express” approval, but I would expect to see three or four approvals—unless they DO NOT tell us about the previous approvals and keep the news until everything is completed as indicated in the previous paragraph.



#BeatoRomero #Beatificación
Actualizacion General:

Esto es lo último sobre el proceso de canonización de Monseñor Romero para el martes 25 de abril de 2017. Un enlace a esta nota se mantendrá arriba del blog y se actualizará periódicamente.
El martes 28 de febrero de 2017, la Arquidiócesis de San Salvador clausuró la fase diocesana de una investigación sobre un presunto milagro del beato Oscar Romero, beatificado en mayo de 2015. El Postulador de la Causa Mons. Vincenzo Paglia dijo a Catholic News Service el jueves 23 de marzo que funcionarios de la Congregación para las Causas de los Santos habían abierto la documentación sobre el supuesto milagro y que comenzarían a estudiarlo el 24 de marzo.

El milagro, si se confirma, permitiría canonizar a Romero, convirtiéndolo en el Primer santo salvadoreño.  Ahora el resultado debe ser confirmado por el Vaticano. Los expertos sostienen que el proceso de aprobación suele durar de seis a dieciocho meses y el Papa Francisco ha dicho recientemente a los obispos salvadoreños que desea dejar que el proceso siga su curso normal y no acelerarlo, dejando abierta la cuestión de si Romero puede ser canonizado durante este año centenario como muchos quisieran.
El proceso de aprobación del milagro tendrá lugar en Roma en la Congregación para las Causas de los Santos y vendrá en cuatro fases.
  • En primer lugar, el milagro debe ser aprobado por una comisión de expertos médicos que consiste de 7 personas.
  • En segundo lugar, el hallazgo debe ser ratificado por una comisión de teólogos compuesto de 6 personas.
  • Tercero, el hallazgo también debe ser aprobado por los catorce Cardenales y los obispos de la Congregación.
  • Cuarto y finalmente, tras todas esas aprobaciones, la Congregación elabora un decreto reconociendo el milagro que se presenta al Papa Francisco para su aprobación final.
Manuel Roberto López Barrera, Embajador de El Salvador ante la Santa Sede, confirmó en una entrevista en la sede de Radio Vaticano el 22 de marzo de 2017 que para “el reconocimiento del milagro, hay cuatro etapas que incluyen una comisión médica, una comisión de teólogos, cardenales y obispos y luego el Papa, que decidirá el día de la canonización”.  Para el martes 25 de abril de 2017, no hay reportes de que alguna de esas cuatro aprobaciones haya ocurrido todavía.

Los obispos fueron a Roma por sus visitas “Ad Limina” con el Papa Francisco y la Curia Romana.  Concluida la primera reunión de casi tres horas el lunes 20 de marzo, el Obispo Castrense Mons. Fabio Colindres dijo que la investigación del milagro por las autoridades vaticanas, “parece ir en un muy buen proceso, en un buen camino, todavía no concluido, esperando que sea de la mejor manera”.  El obispo dijo que “naturalmente no hay fechas para canonización ni tampoco fecha de una posible visita del Papa a El Salvador”.  Según Mons. Colindres, el pontífice sonrió “con mucho cariño y ha dicho ‘ya veremos, ya llegará el momento, no puedo dar fechas concretas’.”  De manera similar,  el obispo auxiliar de San Salvador, Mons. Gregorio Rosa Chávez, reveló que Francisco les dijo a los prelados que “hay que respetar los ritmos de la santa Sede”, y que la causa para la canonización debe seguir su ritmo y sin aceleraciones.

El miércoles 22 de marzo de 2015, los obispos salvadoreños visitaron la Congregación para las Causas de los Santos y se reunieron con su Prefecto, el Cardenal Angelo Amato.  Según informes, el prefecto les aseguró que la causa “no está en el congelador”. Según el obispo castrense Fabio Colindres, la Congregación para las Causas de los Santos “nos está invitando a que demos a conocer más y mejor a Romero, que es y ha sido un gran santo”.
De izquierda a derecha: Mons. José Gregorio Rosa Chávez, Obispo Auxiliar de San Salvador; Mons. Miguel Ángel Morán Aquino, Obispo de Santa Ana; Mons. Elías Samuel Bolaños Avelar, S.D.B., Obispo de Zacatecoluca; Mons. José Luis Escobar Alas, Arzobispo de San Salvador; Angelo Cardenal Amato, S.D.B., Prefecto de la Congregación para las Causas de los Santos; Mons. Fabio Reynaldo Colindres Abarca,Obispo del Ordinariato Militar de El Salvador; Mons. Luis Morao Andreazza, O.F.M., Obispo Emerito de Chalatenango; Mons. José Elías Rauda Gutiérrez, O.F.M., Obispo de San Vicente; Mons. Oswaldo Estéfano Escobar Aguilar, O.C.D., Obispo de Chalatenango; Mons. William Ernesto Iraheta Rivera, Obispo de Santiago de María; y Mons. Constantino Barrera Morales, Obispo de Sonsonate.


Déjenme decir que esta “decisión en cuatro partes” tiene algunos reparos.  Primero, hay otras partes.  Debe haber una revisión de la validez del proceso de San Salvador; se debe elaborar un «positio» o documento sumatorio del milagro—todo eso lo estamos simplificando aquí.  Los elementos procesales pueden resultar bastante significativos. Por ejemplo, la revisión de la validez es un requisito previo para los otros pasos y debe obtenerse antes de que el proceso pueda avanzar. En la canonización de la Madre Teresa, el haber obtenido el decreto sobre la validez de la investigación diocesana dentro de tres meses permitió que el proceso romano avanzara a velocidad relámpago; El resto del proceso también duró aproximadamente tres meses.  (En el caso de Juan Pablo II, ese mismo paso se dilató más de un año.)

Esto es lo más importante: no quiero insinuar que vamos a ir conociendo cada paso.  Puede ser que no sepamos hasta que se hayan rellenado las cuatro partes.  Pero durante la beatificación, sí tuvimos aviso de los varios pasos y yo pienso que pueda repetirse ese mismo nivel de información en este proceso.

Si sabemos de estas aprobaciones en tiempo real, estas probablemente vendrán con un lapso de tiempo por en medio: normalmente son cuatro fechas distintas. En la beatificación vimos una excepción, porque el mismo día que los cardenales aprobaron el decreto del martirio, se lo llevaron al papa y el dio su aprobación el mismo día que los cardenales (el voto de los teólogos había sido un mes antes). Eso es inusual. Es posible que haya una aprobación “express”, pero yo esperaría ver tres o cuatro aprobaciones—a menos que NO nos digan de las aprobaciones previas y se guarden la noticia hasta que todo esté completado como indicaba en el párrafo anterior



#BeatoRomero #Beatificazione
Aggiornamento Generale:

Queste sono le ultime informazioni sul processo di canonizzazione di Monsignor Romero per Martedì 25 Aprile 2017. Un link a questo post verrà mantenuto nella parte superiore del blog e sarà aggiornato regolarmente.
Su Martedì 28 febbraio 2017, l’Arcidiocesi di San Salvador ha chiuso la fase diocesana di un’inchiesta su un presunto miracolo dal Beato Oscar Romero, che è stato beatificato maggio 2015.  Il Postulatore della Causa, Mons. Vincenzo Paglia ha detto Catholic News Service il Giovedi, 23 marzo, che i funzionari della Congregazione per le Cause dei Santi avevano aperto la documentazione relativa al presunto miracolo e avrebbero cominciato a studiarlo il 24 marzo.

Il miracolo, se confermato, permetterebbe Romero ad essere canonizzato, diventando il primo santo salvadoregno.  Ora il risultato deve essere confermato dal Vaticano. Gli esperti sostengono che il processo di approvazione richiede normalmente sei a diciotto mesi, e Papa Francesco ha recentemente detto ai Vescovi salvadoregni che vuole che il processo faccia il suo corso normale e non accelerarlo, lasciando aperta la questione se Romero può essere canonizzato nel corso di questo anno del centenario come molti vorrebbero.
Il processo di approvazione si svolge a Roma presso la Congregazione per le Cause dei Santi e verrà in quattro fasi.
  • In primo luogo, il miracolo deve essere approvato da una commissione di esperti medici composta di 7-persone.
  • In secondo luogo, tale constatazione deve essere ratificata da una commissione di teologi composta di 6 persone.
  • In terzo luogo, la constatazione deve essere approvata dai quattordici Cardinali e Vescovi della Congregazione.
  • Quarto ed ultimo, a seguito di tutte le omologazioni, la Congregazione redige un decreto che riconosce il miracolo che viene presentato a Papa Francesco per l’approvazione finale.
Manuel Roberto Lopez Barrera, ambasciatore di El Salvador presso la Santa Sede, ha confermato in una intervista il 22 marzo 2017 nella sede di Radio Vaticana che “del miracolo vi sono quattro tappe tra cui una commissione medica, una commissione di teologi, i cardinali e vescovi e poi il Papa, che deciderà il giorno della canonizzazione”.  Su Martedì 25 Aprile 2017 non ci sono rapporti che qualcuno di questi quattro approvazioni sono ancora verificate.

I vescovi salvadoregni hanno stato a Roma per le loro visite “Ad Limina” con Papa Francesco e la Curia Romana. Dopo il primo incontro, di quasi tre ore, 20 Marzo con il Papa, il Vescovo Militare, Mon. Fabio Colindres, ha detto che l’indagine del miracolo da parte delle autorità vaticane “sembra seguire per un buon processo, è sulla buona strada, non ancora concluso, sperando che sarà nel modo migliore”. Il vescovo ha detto che naturalmente, non ci sono date per la canonizzazione, né una data per una possibile visita del Papa in El Salvador”. Secondo il vescovo Colindres, il Papa ha sorriso “con grande affetto e ha detto ‘vedremo, verrà il tempo, non posso dare date specifiche’.”  Allo stesso modo, il vescovo ausiliare di San Salvador, mons. Gregorio Rosa Chavez, ha rivelato che Francesco ha detto ai presuli che “dobbiamo rispettare i ritmi della Santa Sede” e che la causa per la canonizzazione deve seguire il suo corso senza accelerazione.

Su Mercoledì 22 Marzo 2015, i vescovi salvadoregni hanno visitato la Congregazione per le Cause dei Santi, e si è incontrato con il suo prefetto, il cardinale Angelo Amato.  Secondo i rapporti, il prefetto ha assicurato che la causa “non è nel congelatore. Secondo il vescovo militare Fabio Colindres, la Congregazione per le Cause dei Santi “ci invita a fare Romero più e meglio conosciuto, e che lui è ed è stato un grande santo”.
Da sinistra a destra: Mons Jose Gregorio Rosa Chavez, Vescovo Ausiliare di San Salvador; Mons Miguel Angel Moran Aquino, Vescovo di Santa Ana; Mons Elias Samuel Bolanos Avelar, S.D.B., Vescovo di Zacatecoluca; Mons Jose Luis Escobar Alas, Arcivescovo di San Salvador; Angelo Cardinale Amato, S.D.B., Prefecto della Congregazione per le Cause dei Santi; Mons Fabio Reynaldo Colindres Abarca, Vescovo del Ordinariato Militare di El Salvador; Mons Luis Morao Andreazza, O.F.M., Vescovo Emerito di Chalatenango; Mons Jose Elias Rauda Gutierrez, O.F.M., Vescovo di San Vicente; Mons Oswaldo Estefano Escobar Aguilar, O.C.D., Bishop of Chalatenango; Mons William Ernesto Iraheta Rivera, Vescovo di Santiago de Maria; e Mons Constantino Barrera Morales, Vescovo di Sonsonate.


Lasciatemi dire che questa “decisione in quattro parti” ha alcuni avvertimenti. Innanzitutto, ci sono altre parti. Ci sarà una revisione della validità del processo di San Salvador; un «positio» o documento di sommatoria del miracolo deve essere messo insieme, stiamo semplificando tutto questo qui.  Le fasi procedurali possono essere abbastanza significativi. Ad esempio, la revisione della validità è un prerequisito per le altre fasi e deve essere ottenuta prima che il processo possa andare avanti. Nella canonizzazione della Madre Teresa, aver ottenuto il decreto sulla validità dell'inchiesta diocesana entro tre mesi ha permesso il processo romano proseguire alla velocità fulmine; il resto del processo anche durato circa tre mesi.  (Nel caso di Giovanni Paolo II, lo stesso passo ha preso più di un anno.)

Ancora più importante: non voglio insinuare che scopriremo quando ogni fase è stata completata. Forse non sapremo fino a che le quattro parti sono state soddisfatte. Durante la beatificazione, abbiamo avuto informazione dei singoli movimenti, e penso che lo stesso livello di notizie ci si può aspettare in questo processo.

Se veniamo a conoscenza di queste approvazioni in tempo reale, probabilmente verranno con un intervallo di tempo tra ogni passo: normalmente ci saranno quattro date diverse. Nella beatificazione abbiamo visto un’eccezione, perché lo stesso giorno in cui i cardinali hanno approvato il decreto del martirio, hanno consegnato al Papa e lui ha dato la sua approvazione lo stesso giorno, come i cardinali (il voto dei teologi era stato un mese prima). Questo è insolito. Ci può essere una approvazione “express”, ma mi aspetto di vedere tre o quattro approvazioni—a meno che non ci dicono circa le autorizzazioni precedenti e mantengono la notizia fino a quando tutto è completato come indicato nel paragrafo precedente

Monday, April 03, 2017



“Por tu Sagrado Corazón yo prometo darme todo por tu gloria y por las almas. Quiero morir así, en medio del trabajo; fatigado del camino, rendido, cansado... me acordaré de tus fatigas y hasta ellas serán precio de redención, desde hoy te las ofrezco. Señor Jesús, por tu Corazón y por las almas: ‘promitto’ [prometo]”. (Apuntes del 4 de abril de 1942.)

#BlessedRomero #Beatification

Seventy five years ago, Oscar Romero was ordained a priest.  During the beatification in 2015, Cardinal Angelo Amato recalled that when Romero had been a seminarian, he had kept a journal, in which he wrote, “this year will make my great commitment to God. My God, help me! Prepare me. You are everything; I am nothing. And yet, your love wants me to be a lot. Courage! With your everything and my nothing, we will do a lot.”
Abajo está el acta que firmo Óscar Romero en anticipación de su ordenación sacerdotal en abril de 1942, hace 75 años.  En latín en letras mayúsculas dice: “Así lo declaro, lo prometo y lo juro. Que Dios me ayude y estos Santos Evangelios que toco con mis manos.”
La foto qui sotto presenta Oscar Romero, nella occasione della sua ordinazione sacerdotale, settantacinque anni fa, nell’aprile 1942.  Vediamo Romero 3 ° della seconda fila a partire da sinistra.  Anche in questa foto, si vede il P. José Macagno, S.J., allora padre Ministro del Collegio Pio Latino Americano, 5 ° della prima fila a partire da sinistra, e P. Dario Ferioli, S.J., alla destra di lui.  Non si vede: P. Emanuele Porta, S.J., che ha scattato la foto (inserto).
“By your Sacred Heart I promise to give myself entirely for your glory ... I want to die this way: in the middle of work, fatigued by the journey, tired and weary ... I will recall your toils and they will be the price of redemption ... ‘promitto’ [I promise].” (April 4, 1942 notes.)


Friday, March 24, 2017

A call for a *U.S.* Romero Centennial


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#BlessedRomero #Beatification
The following is a statement from the Archbishop Romero U.S. Centennial Commission, an independent ‘ad hoc’ working group created to promote the celebration of the Oscar Romero (1917-2017) Centennial in the United States. [PDF version.]
As we mark another anniversary of the March 24, 1980 assassination—and martyrdom—of Archbishop Oscar A. Romero of El Salvador, we are gladdened by news from the Vatican that his canonization may be drawing near.
2017 is also the Oscar Romero Centennial Year because it marks 100 years since his birth on August 15, 1917 and it provides, therefore, great occasion to commemorate the life of this great American saint.  In the words of Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Romero “belongs to the holiness of the American Church—meaning that he belongs to all the Americas.  Blessed Oscar Romero belongs to this mighty wind of holiness that blows on the American continent, the land of love and faithfulness to the good news of the Gospel.”
Lord Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury has called Romero, “A saint for the whole people of God” and a sign of our “ecumenical future.”
Therefore, we call to the whole Church and particularly to the churches in America, to reflect, pray and to honor his legacy in this Romero Centennial Year.
    1. We applaud efforts already underway and salute the 30th Annual, Centennial Edition of the “Romero Days” Conference to be held at the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute March 24-28, 2017.  The “Romero Days” conference will provide the academic and intellectual keel for the spiritual reflections that we feel need to follow in the course of the year.
    2. We call upon Catholics and all whose spirituality includes praying for the intercession of saints to pray the Romero Novena (see below), created by the Church in El Salvador to highlight the deep spirituality that underlay Archbishop Romero’s bold and prophetic denunciations.  We propose that the faithful pray the Novena starting on August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration (El Salvador’s patronal feast), running up through August 15, the Romero Centennial.
    3. Finally, we call on the Church to commemorate Archbishop Romero in a special manner on All Saints’ Day 2017 with special remembrances and liturgies to honor his memory and close out the Centennial reflections and celebrations.
Dr. Duane Arnold
The Project
José Artiga
Executive Director
SHARE Foundation
San Francisco, CA
Carlos X. Colorado
Long Beach, CA
Bro. Octavio Duran, OFM
Director of Media and Editor of The Anthonian Magazine
New Jersey
María Hilda de González
ESNE TV/radio “El Sembrador” Ministries
Los Angeles, CA
Fr. Robert Pelton, CSC
Notre Dame University
Yasmín Romero-Latín
Advisory Neighborhood Comm.
Govt. of the Dist. of Columbia
Cinnamon Sarver
Sacred Heart Elementary School
Washington, D.C.
Bob Waldrop
Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House
Oklahoma City
Scott Wright
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Washington, D.C.
I believe faithfully and truly in the Mystery of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three distinct persons and one true God, in whom I firmly trust to obtain the perfection of the pain of having offended His Most Holy Majesty, through the merits of My Lord Jesus Christ, those of His Blessed Mother and those of my glorious advocate Blessed Oscar Romero; I entreat the Lord to always preserve in me this living faith, to grant me the forgiveness of my sins, provide for my needs, and for what I ask in this Novena, if it is for His honor and for the good of my soul. If not, may I live obediently in His holy will as it best behooves me. Amen.
Glorious Blessed Oscar Romero, we turn to you, confident of your intercession. We are drawn to you with a special devotion and we know that our supplications will be more pleasing to God our Lord, if you, who are so beloved of Him, present them to Him. Your charity, an admirable reflection of God’s own, compels you to succor all misery, to console all sorrow and to gratify all desires and needs, if it is to be of benefit to our souls. Look, then, upon our miseries and sorrows, our labors and needs, our good desires, and help us to assure ourselves more and more of our eternal salvation with the practice of good works and the imitation of your virtues. And, in particular, we ask you to obtain for us from God the special grace that, by this devout Novena, we confidently hope to receive. Amen.
God the Father of all men and women, who has given us in your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero, a faithful and zealous Pastor, fervent lover of your Church and in her in a special way, the poor and the needy, grant that we may know how to live according to the Gospel. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By the generosity with which your Bishop Oscar Romero responded to God’s call, recognizing the will of God with living faith always and in everything, I entreat you, in addition to the particular grace of this Novena, to grant me to be always faithful to your commands with a readiness and generosity similar to his, so that the faith received at Baptism will continuously grow and mature in my soul. Amen.
Petition ... Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory. Conclude with the final prayer for each day.
Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
O Lord, who always hears the supplications of your saints; today we address you through the Glorious Martyr Oscar Romero to petition with faith and confidence for all the needs of Our Mother Church, that she may ever hold fast in the fulfillment of your will. Also, Lord, we pray for the sick who should invoke in faith the name of your Glorious Martyr Oscar Romero.
Petition ... Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory. Conclude with the final prayer for each day.
Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By the unyielding hope that your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero persevered in throughout his life, trusting fully in your paternal providence, I humbly implore you, in addition to the particular grace of this Novena, to grant me never to lose heart before the adversities of life, but rather, animated by the hope of Heaven, to live always confident of your merciful love. Amen.
Petition ... Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory. Finish with the final sentence for every day.
Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By the burning charity that your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero felt toward the poorest of the poor, I beseech you grant me the particular grace of this Novena, and that my heart may be inflamed, more and more every day, by the divine love that burns in you, and in which you long to see all men and women consumed and purified. Amen.
Petition ... Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory. Conclude with the final prayer for each day.
Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By that inextinguishable zeal that consumed the soul of your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero in favor of the spiritual and temporal good of his beloved flock, to the point of sacrificing his life for them, I humbly pray that in addition to the particular grace of this Novena, you grant that I be more concerned for my spiritual welfare and the salvation of others. Amen.
Petition ... Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory. Conclude with the final prayer for each day.
Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By the love of work that characterized your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero in all his occupations, however ordinary and tedious they might be, I humbly beg you, Lord, that besides the particular grace of this Novena, that you grant me a great spirit of faith, to see in the use of the present moment the most effective means of seeking the glory of God, the salvation of souls and my own sanctification. Amen.
Petition ... Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory. Conclude with the final prayer for each day.
Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By the admirable constancy and strength with which your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero bore, first vicariously through the others and then in his own body, the horrible contempt of his own kind, in addition to the suffering of isolation and impotence to arrest the evil around him, I beg you humbly that in addition to the particular grace of this Novena, you may grant me to accept with my eyes fixed on you, my God, all the sorrows and difficulties of life. Amen.
Petition ... Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory. Conclude with the final prayer for each day.
Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By that pious devotion that your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero always professed to the Blessed Virgin, I ardently beseech you that besides the particular grace of this Novena, you may grant me to conduct myself, always and in everything, as your loving son, in order to merit one day the joy of being presented by Her before your court, to enjoy your company forever in Heaven. Amen.
Petition ... Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory. Conclude with the final prayer for each day.
Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By that fervent love that your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero professed for the Holy Eucharist, as the nourishment of his soul in his Masses and Communions, and as the solace of his spirit in his fervent adorations before the Sacred Tabernacle, I beg you, in addition to the special grace of this Novena, grant met hat may I grow more and more devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, and to prepare my heart every day to better receive it as to gain the maximum profit. Amen.
Petition ... Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory. Conclude with the final prayer for each day.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A stirring ode to the Salvadoran martyrs


The Presentation: March 14, 2017, El Paisnal, El Salvador.

#BlessedRomero #Beatification
By the side of the graves of Father Rutilio Grande and his “martyr” companions, Manuel Solorzano and Nelson Lemus, buried beneath the floor of the San Jose Church in El Paisnal, San Salvador Archbishop Jose Luis Escobar Alas presented a monumental new pastoral letter on the persecution of the Salvadoran Church and the martyrs it produced. [Spanish text.]
«Ustedes También Darán Testimonio, Porque Han Estado Conmigo Desde el Principio» (“You will also testify, because you have been with me since the beginning”—C.f., Jn. 15:27), Archbishop Escobar’s second pastoral letter, coincides with the 40th anniversary of the martyrdom of Fr. Rutilio Grande, a fact that does not go unnoticed in the archbishop’s text. The Catholic hierarch calls it “grave” that “forty years after the martyrdom of Fr. Rutilio Grande García S.J ., I wish to recognize—as I must out of justice, truth and charity—that we have crossed the threshold of the third millennium in the Salvadoran Archdiocese without having pronounced a word of recognition of all the men and women who were victims of persecution, torture, repression; and in their final consequences, martyrs deaths, following Christ and the incarnation of the Gospel in the country.” [«Ustedes También», 3.]
The prelate attributes this oversight to possible “attempts to return to a certain type of ecclesiology and spirituality contrary to the renewal of the Second Vatican Council” and offers his apology: “I regret that this act of justice and charity toward our martyrs had not been carried out years earlier.” [Ibid.] Later, Archbishop Escobar also apologizes for leaving out the laity in this letter dedicated to the martyrs who died having received some sacred order, including the priesthood and consecrated life. “I confess that we, the pastors of our ecclesiastical Province, have not inquired in depth about these types of martyrs,” writes Escobar. “I apologize for our inaction.” [Op. Cit., 147.] He also promises a future rectification. [Id.]
Specifically, the Letter, over 200 pgs. in length, contains testimonies for twenty-four particular martyrs of the Salvadoran Church, including 17 priests, 4 religious women, 2 bishops and one seminarian:
1. Fr. Rutilio Grande Garcia, Jesuit Priest;
2. Fr. Nicolas Antonio Rodríguez Aguilar, diocesan priest;
3. Fr. Alfonso Navarro, diocesan priest;
4. Fr. Rafael Ernesto Barrera Motto, diocesan priest;
5. Fr. Octavio Ortiz, diocesan priest;
6. Fr. Rafael Palacios, diocesan priest;
7. Fr. Alirio Napoleon Macias, diocesan priest;
8. Blessed Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez;
9. Fr. Cosme Spessotto, Franciscan Priest;
10. Jose Ohtmaro Cáceres, diocesan seminarian;
11. Fr. Manuel Antonio Reyes, oratorian priest;
12. Fr. Ernesto Abrego, oratorian priest;
13. Fr. Marcial Serrano, diocesan priest;
14. Sr. Dorothy Lu Kazel O.S.U;
15. Jean Donovan;
16. Sr. Ita Catherine Ford M.M .;
17. Sr. Maura Elizabeth Clarke M.M .;
18. Fr. Ignacio Ellacuria, Jesuit Priest;
19. Fr. Ignacio Martin Baro, Jesuit Priest;
20. Fr. Segundo Montes Mozo, Jesuit Priest;
21. Fr. Amando Lopez Quintana, Jesuit Priest;
22. Fr. Juan Ramon Moreno Pardo, Jesuit Priest;
23. Fr. Joaquín Lopez y Lopez, Jesuit Priest; and
24. Bishop Roberto Joaquin Ramos Umana.
For each of them, «Ustedes También» presents biographical data, a summary of the ecclesial mission of each individual, and the circumstances of their martyrdom. If this had been the only contribution of the letter, «Ustedes También» would already be of much value. Compared, for example, with an Americas Watch report that I have used as a reference for the Salvadoran martyrology, the archbishop’s letter contains all of the cases cataloged by Americas Watch, and others more. In addition to the Salvadoran martyrs, the Archbishop’s letter also pays homage to those of neighboring countries, including Bishop Gerardi and Stanley Rother in Guatemala. [«Ustedes También», 184-189.]
For all the martyrs as a group, Archbishop Escobar affirms once and for all that “they were martyrs, not because they adhered to an ideology, but because they tried to illuminate with faith a reality of pain, suffering, poverty, violence, Injustice, oppression, torture, marginalization and death.” [Ibid., 176.] In the second part of the letter, Archbishop Escobar weaves an entire theology of martyrdom, from the pages of the Old and New Testaments, as well as from the magisterium of the Church. Even more, Escobar also begins to gather an ecclesiology of martyrdom. In some of his most poetic passages, he cites the ancient Christian literature of the Shepherd of Hermas to describe the building of the Church as the construction of a tower with stones so perfectly carved (representing the martyrs) that “the tower appeared as a single block.” [Op. Cit., 11]
Finally, the Archbishop rails against the impunity that prevails in the country, demanding justice for his martyrs. [Id., 156-157.]
In the ninth year of his archbishopric, Archbishop Escobar has clearly found his voice, and it has a prophetic tenor. His first pastoral letter, last year, seemed “Romeroesque”  to us for its attention to urgent social issues from the point of view of the Gospel. In recent days, the archbishop has led a campaign against metal mining, collecting signatures, leading a march to the legislature, and even presenting legislation to abolish the practice. «Ustedes También» is perhaps his most radical move: in the true Romeroesque sense, Archbishop Escobar is radical from his orthodoxy.  He co-opts new developments in the life of the Church and appropriates them to the traditional and institutional fabric of its history.