The Latest: Romero biographer lauds saint candidate
Mar. 07, 2018
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Latest on the route to sainthood for Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero (all times local):
A leading biographer of slain Archbishop Oscar Romero says the world today needs his "example of audacity and courage" — particularly Latin America as it copes with deadly gang violence.
Roberto Morozzo Della Rocca, who collaborated on Romero's saint-making case at the Vatican, says he was a model Christian "who hated violence and searched for peace."
Pope Francis on Wednesday approved a miracle attributed to Romero's intercession, paving the way for his canonization. The ceremony could come in October, or in January when Francis travels to Panama for World Youth Day.
Morozzo Della Rocca said the canonization will have particular meaning for Latin America in general and El Salvador in particular, "where violence by youth gangs has brought enormous suffering and created a true nightmare for the population."
Salvadorans are celebrating the news that slain Archbishop Oscar Romero is to be made a saint.
President Salvador Sanchez Ceren said in a tweet that the news "fills us with immense joy."
And Roman Catholic Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez says, "This is a day of glory for the country, of rejoicing and hope."
He calls it "an answer from God to the outcry of a people which has suffered so much."
The cardinal has long pushed for the sainthood of Romero, who was slain by a right-wing death squad while saying Mass in 1980 during El Salvador's civil war.
For churchgoer Josefa Trejos, the news only confirms what she has long believed. In her words, "The pope is giving us a blessing with this news, but Saint Romero is already on the altars. He is already miraculous and a saint."
The miracle that paved the way for slain Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero to be made a saint involves the medically inexplicable cure of a pregnant, terminally ill Salvadoran woman who was "condemned to death" but lived, and gave birth to a healthy child.
The Vatican official who spearheaded Romero's sainthood case, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the woman's husband first began praying to Romero on May 24, 2015, the day Romero was beatified in San Salvador. Paglia said by late August or early September, the woman's condition had worsened and her doctors delivered the child.
He said: "They did the Cesarean and were waiting for her to die," because all the tests indicated she wouldn't survive. He didn't specify the illness. Her friends started praying to Romero "and after five days, in an inexplicable way, this woman begins to improve and was completely healed."
Francis approved the miracle on Tuesday, paving the way for Romero to be canonized.
The archbishop who spearheaded the sainthood case of slain Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero is hoping both Romero and Pope Paul VI will be canonized together in October during a big Vatican meeting to give Catholics a new "burst" of energy and example of the need to give their lives for others.
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the postulator for Romero's cause, told The Associated Press he was thrilled that Pope Francis had approved decrees clearing the way for both Romero and his "good friend" Paul VI to be made saints. Paul is best remembered for having presided over the close of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 church meetings that reformed the church.
Paglia said: "Romero loved to say that the Second Vatican Council asked all Christians to be martyrs today, that is, to live giving your life for others, not for yourself."
Pope Francis has cleared the way for slain Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero to be made a saint, approving a miracle attributed to his intercession.
The Vatican announced Wednesday that Francis had approved a decree the previous day during a meeting with the head of the Vatican's saint-making office. Also approved was the miracle attributed to Pope Paul VI, paving the way for his canonization.
Romero was gunned down by right-wing death squads on March 24, 1980, as he celebrated Mass. El Salvador's military dictatorship had vehemently opposed his preaching against the repression of the poor by the army at the start of the country's 1980-1992 civil war.
Francis unblocked Romero's long-stalled sainthood case at the start of his pontificate and declared him a martyr in 2015.