Feast Day of St. Oscar Arnulfo Romero: March 24
The feast day is of Bishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero is past, but his witness remains with us. He stood up for the poor of El Salvador in the face of cruel and merciless powers, both nationally and internationally.
On March 24, 1980, he was gunned down while celebrating Mass in a hospital chapel called "La Providencia Divina". The previous day, he had demanded that the government of El Salvador stop the death squads and obey God.
His relevance for us lies in his courage to stand outside his culture, regardlesss of the cost, as a witness of God's love for the least among us.
He wrote, "A church that suffers no persecution but enjoys the privileges and support of the things of the earth - beware! - is not the true church of Jesus Christ. A preaching that does not point out sin is not the preaching of the gospel. A preaching that makes sinners feel good, so that they are secured in their sinful state, betrays the gospel's call. (1/22/78)."
As a result of his martyrdom and of others, there is peace in Central America today. Former enemies have put aside their assault-rifles and bombs to sit down together in the seats of power and rebuild the country.
Blessed is the peacemaker.