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An invitation to Include a Remembrance of Blessed Oscar Romero for August 15, 2017 Feast of the Assumption and 100th Anniversary of Bl. Romero’s Birth issued by the Archbishop Oscar  Romero US Centennial Commission.

The Archbishop Oscar Romero U.S. Centennial Commission, welcomes the news that various dioceses, including the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, will hold special commemorative events and invites the entire U.S. Catholic community to honor Romero by including a petition or other remembrance of Blessed Romero during Assumption Day Masses on August 15th.  (See the link above for suggested petitions and other liturgically appropriate remembrances.)

August 15th marks the great Feast of the Assumption in our Catholic Church.  This year, August 15, 2017 also marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero.  A tireless advocate for the poor and critic of violence and injustice in his native El Salvador, Archbishop Romero was martyred while celebrating Mass in 1980.  He has become an international hero and was beatified in May 2015. 

Romero found great inspiration in Mary and called her “the first Christian” and “ideal of the Church.”  Forty years ago, in his 1977 homily for the Feast of the Assumption, Blessed Romero proclaimed of Mary:

"[S]he points out to humankind their eternal destiny. Thus, from this light in heaven, she illuminates the dignity and the rights of the human person. For this reason, she is steadfast in defending the dignity, freedom and the rights of the human person, because she knows that men and women are not puppets, but are destined, like Mary, for the kingdom of Heaven."

Romero uses the Assumption of Mary to help us understand that the knowledge of our heavenly destiny, which we will one day enjoy in glorified bodily form like Mary, reinforces the need to protect our earthly bodies and dignity.  What better way to honor Blessed Romero’s Centennial than to pray for the continuance of his memory and work in our communities today.

In honor of the Romero Centennial, the Romero Centennial Commission invites the Churches to:

1.    Include a customized petition during the Mass for the Feast of the Assumption or mention the Romero centennial and use a Romero quote during the homily on the Feast of the Assumption (or the Sunday before, August 13, 2017).  Other remembrance actions are also encouraged.

2.    Pray the Blessed Romero Novena created by the Archdiocese of San Salvador (suggested dates August 6-14th; translation linked above).

3.    Use the hashtag “#Romero100” to promote the Romero Centennial on social media.

It is altogether fitting and proper for the Church in the U.S. to remember Romero, because, in the words of Pope Francis,

“This is what the Church in El Salvador is called to today, in America and in the whole world: to be rich in mercy and to become a leaven of reconciliation for society … May those who hold Archbishop Romero as a friend of faith, those who invoke him as protector and intercessor, those who admire his image, find in him the strength and courage to build the Kingdom of God ….”  (Message for the Beatification of Archbishop Romero, May 23, 2015.)