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Liturgical, Homiletical, & Social Suggestions for the Observance of the Centenary of Oscar Romero's Birth and the Solemnity of the Assumption
These suggestions are prepared by the Archbishop Oscar Romero US Centennial Commission.
Here are some sample petitions for use during celebrations of Mass or the Liturgy of the Hours. This may be used on August 15th, or they could also be used on the Sunday prior to the Centennial. The “Introduction” could be used before the petitions or as part of a Mass greeting, or printed in a bulletin or worship aid.
Introduction: Today’s Feast of the Assumption also marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero. This Salvadoran Archbishop, who was martyred while celebrating Mass in 1980, tirelessly advocated for the poor and denounced the violence in his native El Salvador. Romero looked to Mary as “the first Christian” and the “ideal of the Church.”
Let us bring our petitions and intentions to God as we honor Mary in her Assumption to Heaven. Faithful servants like Blessed Oscar Romero help us to live and understand today’s Feast more fully. Our response today is…
1. For government leaders, that Mary’s heavenly assumption and Blessed Oscar Romero’s timeless preaching and efforts for justice may inspire them to protect human life and dignity in all stages. We Pray to the Lord…
2. For all people who are vulnerable…especially the unborn, the poor, the young and the old, the sick, refugees and immigrants, prisoners, and those who suffer from war and violence of any kind…that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary and at the example of Blessed Romero, we may make concrete efforts to alleviate the suffering around us. We Pray to the Lord…
3. For all our loved ones who have died, that they may rest in eternal peace with Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Blessed Oscar Romero, and all the faithful departed who now fully enjoy the communion of saints. We Pray to the Lord…
Homiletical Resources for remembrances of Blessed Oscar Romero for August 15, 2017 Feast of the Assumption and 100th Anniversary of Bl. Romero’s Birth
Mention the Centennial of Romero’s birth during the homily (or Mass greeting) on August 15th (or Sunday, August 13th)
Quotes from Blessed Romero’s 1977 homily for the Feast of the Assumption:
“Finally, the Church, like Mary, serves humankind by affirming the fact that every man and woman is a child of God, a sister and a brother that must be attended. Mary continually protects her children and with outstretched arms of a mother and queen, she guides us along the paths that lead to heaven. The earthly Church is doing the same thing. She encourages men and women to fulfill their obligations, to put aside their sinful ways and to live their true dignity as children of God.”
“How does Mary serve? In the first place, she 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.”
The full text is available online at:
Other Marian Quotes from Blessed Romero:
A humble person is one who, like the humble Mary, says, “The Powerful One has done great things in me.” [Luke 1:49] Each of us has an individual greatness. God would not be our author if we were something worthless. You and I and all of us are worth very much, because we are creatures of God, and God has prodigally given his wonderful gifts to every person. And so the church values human beings and contends for their rights, for their freedom, for their dignity. That is an authentic church endeavor. While human rights are violated, while there are arbitrary arrests, while there are tortures, the church considers itself persecuted, it feels troubled, because the church values human beings and cannot tolerate that an image of God be trampled by persons that become brutalized by trampling on others. The church wants to make that image beautiful. SEPTEMBER 4, 1977
Even when all despaired at the hour when Christ was dying on the cross, Mary, serene, awaited the hour of the resurrection. Mary is the symbol of the people who suffer oppression and injustice. Theirs is the calm suffering that awaits the resurrection. It is Christian suffering, the suffering of the church, which does not accept the present injustices but awaits without rancor the moment when the Risen One will return to give us the redemption we await.
DECEMBER 1, 1977
Mary and the church in Latin America are marked by poverty. Vatican Council II says that Mary stands out among the poor who await redemption from God. Mary appears in the Bible as the expression of poverty, of humility, of one who needs everything from God. When she comes to America, her intimate, motherly converse is with an Indian, an outcast, a poor man. Mary’s dialog in America begins with a sign of poverty, poverty that is hunger for God, poverty that is joy of independence. Poverty is freedom. Poverty is needing others, needing brothers and sisters, supporting one another so as to help one another. This is what Mary means and what the church means in Latin America. If at some time the church betrayed its spirit of poverty, then it was unfaithful to the gospel, which meant it to be distinct from the powers of the earth, not depending on the money that makes humans happy, but depending on the power of Christ, on God’s power. That is its greatness. DECEMBER 12, 1977 (from Romero’s homily in the church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in San Salvador)
Our people sense that Mary is part of our people’s soul. All Latin American peoples feel this. No one has entered so deeply into our people’s heart as Mary. She is the image, the likeness, of a church that wants to be present with the gospel’s light in the civilizations of the world’s peoples, as God wants her to be, in their social, economic, and political transformation.
DECEMBER 12, 1977
Faith… faith consists in accepting God without asking God to be accountable to us. Faith consists in reacting to God in the same way that Mary did: I do not understand this but may it be done to me according to your word. December 18, 1977
I know that God’s Spirit, who made Christ’s body in Mary’s womb and keeps making the church in history here in the archdiocese, is a Spirit that is hovering – in the words of Genesis – over a new creation. I sense that there is something new in the archdiocese. I am a man, frail and limited, and I do not know what is happening, but I do know that God knows. My role as pastor is what St. Paul tells me today: “Do not quench the Spirit.” [1 Thessalonians 5:19] If I say in an authoritarian way to a priest: “Don’t do that!” or to a community: “Don’t go that way!” and try to set myself up as if I were the Holy Spirit and set about making a church to my liking, I would be quenching the Spirit. But St. Paul also tells me: “Test everything and keep what is good.” [1 Thessalonians 5:21] I pray very much to the Holy Spirit for that; it is called the gift of discernment. DECEMBER 17, 1978
Mary is not an idol. The only Savior is God, Jesus Christ, but Mary is the human instrument, the daughter of Adam, the daughter of Israel, a people’s embodiment, sister of our race, who by her holiness was able to incarnate in history God’s divine life. The true homage that a Christian can make to Mary is, like her, to make the effort to incarnate God’s life in the fluctuations of our fleeting history. DECEMBER 24, 1978
The salvation that we preach in Christ’s church is the same salvation that Mary believed in and that she initiated when she gave her consent and became fruitful with God’s salvation. The church is zealous to guard Mary’s belief, God’s plan for human salvation, and it will not let his plan be lost in merely human plans. Rather, it must sanctify and permeate these. Every people’s liberation effort will be effective and according to God’s heart only if it lets faith in God’s plan to save humanity pervade it. DECEMBER 23, 1979
When Mary, the virgin, the most spiritual being of Yahweh, sings her praises to God who will free those who are humble and poor there appears to be a political dimension to her words: The hungry he has filled with good things and the rich he has sent away empty [Luke 1:53]. Mary also proclaims words that today might be considered words of insurrection: He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly [Luke 1:52]. This is the political dimension of our faith, a faith that was lived by Mary and also lived by Jesus.
February 17, 1980
Pray the Novena to Oscar Romero, prepared by the Archdiocese of San Salvador, as personal prayer or in company with others.