Óscar Romero named martyr

By: Meredith Francis ~Campus News Editor~

Pope Francis recently named Archbishop Óscar Romero an officially recognized martyr of the Catholic Church.

Romero, who was Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977 to 1980, was shot on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass.

Romero was a vocal critic of the military regime in El Salvador
during the country’s civil war. He advocated for the poor and spoke out against political violence. The recognition of his martyrdom puts Romero one step closer to beatification, which is the last step before sainthood.

Romero’s martyrdom was previously held up because the Catholic Church requires that a martyr be killed out of “hatred for faith.” In Romero’s case, it was not clear if this is why he was killed.

In 1997, Pope John Paul II gave Romero the title, “Servant of God.” When Pope Francis was elected in 2013, he removed some of the restrictions on Romero’s case, providing a clearer path for Romero’s sainthood. Francis referred to Romero as a “man of God.”

To be considered a saint, two miracles need to be attributed to Romero. The first miracle would allow him beatification, and the second would allow him sainthood, though many have bypassed the first miracle for beatification.