Saint Oscar Romero: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr
This new biography by Kerry Walters offers an inspiring look at St. Óscar’s life, starting in childhood and then tracing his evolution from a conscientious but unremarkable (and at times curmudgeonly) priest to a heroic prophet and—finally—a martyr, gunned down in 1980 while celebrating mass.
The “revolution of Christ’s love” that so moved St. Oscar is as relevant to our own lives as it was to an El Salvador torn by civil unrest: motivated by the power of love instead of arms; seeking not the overthrow but the conversion of society; and asserting that all people are equally beloved by God and equally deserving of the world’s resources.
Only God could have foreseen that a timid, introverted, and very traditional Salvadoran priest—one with an unsavory reputation as the lackey of rightwing politicians and wealthy landowners—would go on to become the hero of liberation theology.
And yet, largely thanks to the 1989 biopic starring Raul Julia, many people are familiar with the extraordinary journey of Oscar Romero. The priest, prophet, and martyr canonized by Pope Francis in October, 2018, has become a symbol for our time: a Christian hero who dared all, risked all, and sacrificed all for the sake of love.
Liberation theology’s emergence in the late 1960s sparked a fresh way of reading the gospels and a new focus for evangelization—one that emphasized material as well as spiritual salvation and sought to empower victims of poverty and injustice. Initially, Romero worried that advocates of liberation theology, zealous as they were to redress injustice, fixated on political and economic activism at the expense of dedication to Christ.
Then came 1977 and the tragedy that changed the trajectory of Romero’s life. With the government-sanctioned murder of his friend Rutilio Grande, a Jesuit who lived and worked with campesinos, something that had been stirring inside his heart finally clicked.
Stock #: B53265
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I remember when this happened, hearing about it and seeing it on the news...it was so sad. Father Oscar did everything to help his people. I would this book to be very insightful about his life and his struggles to help his people.
Overall I found this a great introduction to the life and times of St. Oscar Romero. The writing was a bit slow, and a bit too peppered with the author's interpretations in the first few chapters. After that, however, the story was tightly written and flowed smoothly. The author was able to paint the highlights of Monsenor's multifaceted life , his frailties as well as his great love for the compesinos, his tireless prophetic call in the face of growing adversity.
Monsenor Romero has become a beloved rallying cry and the author has captured the pathos and danger of his time. I highly recommend this to any one who has little understanding of the life and time of St. Oscar Romero, or wishes to better understand the reality of liberation theology's preferential option for the poor.
100% right all the times! In a country plagued with violence, lacking moral values, a spiritual leader who preaches to fight for your rights, to show us how the simplicity of life, the dignity of work and praying are a truthful way to enlightenment and joy. At his time, he fought against inequality, nowadays we need to follow his steps and denounce corruption and violence.
This excellent and well-written book tells the story of a priest, bishop, and archbishop who went from being a conservative clergyman to being a defender of the poor and downtrodden, and "the voice of the voiceless." Not only his government, but also his fellow clergy in his country, opposed him in the last 3 years of his life -- and there were those in the Vatican who suspected that he was a "Communist." But he was anything but, and was the first archbishop since St. Thomas Becket to be murdered in his own cathedral. St. Oscar Romero, pray for us!