24.03.

1980: Archbishop Oscar Romero Killed while Serving Mass

1980: Archbishop Oscar Romero Killed while Serving Mass
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 24 March 1980
  • Archbishop Óscar Romero, as a human rights advocate, opposed to the violent regime of El Salvador. The Vatican declared him a Servant of God, and civil associations also consider him to be one of the leaders of the struggle for democracy and human rights.

On this day Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass at a chapel in a hospital called “La Divina Providencia” in San Salvador. Such an unprecedented blasphemous act was committed, as the investigation showed, by the members of a so-called “death squad” – terrorist guerrilla units that were in collusion with the government of the Republic of El Salvador at that time.

It was, namely, the time of the Salvadoran Civil War, and the archbishop as a human rights advocate opposed the violent regime. He was allegedly shot while elevating the chalice during Mass. There are theories that the ruling junta and “death squads” were also supported by the United States.

Tomb of Archbishop Romero in the San Salvador Cathedral
Tomb of Archbishop Romero in the San Salvador Cathedral

Today Archbishop Romero is revered as a martyr of the struggle for human rights. The Vatican declared him a Servant of God, and there are efforts for him to be canonized. Even non-Catholics revere him; for example the Anglican Communion and civil associations consider him to be one of the leaders of the struggle for democracy and human rights.

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