St Oscar Romero
Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador was canonised (recognised as a saint) by Pope Francis on Sunday 14 October 2018. Romero loved and defended the poor of his country and spoke out against the poverty and injustice they faced. For this he was assassinated as he celebrated mass on 24 March 1980.
His status as a martyr, someone who dies for their faith, was confirmed in 2015. He now joins the ranks of Archbishop saints and martyrs included Thomas Becket and our own patron saint, Alfege. St Alfege died in 1012, choosing death rather than forcing further poverty and exploitation on his people.
Here is the Collect (prayer) used on 24 March, the date on which the Anglican Communion honour Oscar Romero:
you called your servant Oscar Romero
to be a voice for the voiceless poor,
and to give his life
as a seed of freedom and a sign of hope:
grant that, inspired by his sacrifice
and the example of the martyrs of El Salvador,
we may without fear or favor
witness to your Word who abides,
your Word who is Life,
even Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be praise and glory now and for ever.
In November two events are taking place to celebrate the life of the Oscar Romero and give thanks for his canonisation: in St George’s Cathedral Southwark on Saturday 3 November and in Westminster Abbey on Saturday 17 November. You can find more details here.