I have had a devotion to Archbishop Oscar Romero since learning about him and the civil war that plagued El Salvador from 1979 to 1992. About five or six years after the war ended, I had an opportunity to travel to San Salvador with a group of Catholic journalists.
Among the places we visited were the chapel at Divine Providence Hospital, where Archbishop Romero was gunned down on March 24, 1980, as well as his small residence just across the street from the chapel.
We were guided by a diminutive sister, whose name I do not recall. She showed us the archbishop’s study, his bedroom and a glass case where the blood-stained vestments, worn on that fateful day were stored.
It was quite a moving experience. Since Archbishop Romero’s assassination, we’ve seen anniversaries of his death come and go with very little news about an official pronouncement of his martyrdom. That changed with the election of Pope Francis. Last month, Francis signed a decree recognizing Archbishop Romero as a martyr, which means there is no need to prove a miracle for his beatification. Archbishop Oscar Romero will be beatified in San Salvador May 23.
Here are a few photos I took during my visit to Divine Providence Hospital chapel and Archbishop Romero’s residence.