SAN SALVADOR – The Salvadoran government received “with joy” news of the impending canonization of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, murdered in 1980 by a right-wing death squad while celebrating Mass.
“The government of El Salvador expresses its joy over the Vatican’s announcement approving the decree that will make the canonization of Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero possible,” said the Foreign Ministry in a press release, adding that Romero is “remembered for his priceless legacy, commitment and pastoral work to help the most needy.”
Pope Francis signed on Wednesday a decree confirming a miracle attributed to Romero’s intercession, one of the prerequisites for canonization.
The archbishop, who was shot through the heart while celebrating Mass on March 24, 1980, could be canonized in Rome by the Vatican – along with Pope Paul VI – after the close of the Youth Synod on Oct. 28.
Other options include performing the canonization in El Salvador or Panama, where the ceremony would take place in January 2019 during the World Youth Day celebration, which the pope plans to attend.
The process to beatify Romero was begun in March 1994 and was passed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for its authorization in 1997.
Romero was assassinated at the beginning of El Salvador’s civil war (1980-1992).
He was beatified in a decree issued by Pope Francis that recognized his martyrdom in a ceremony held in San Salvador on May 23, 2015.