Image from the memorial wall “Monumento a la Memoria y la Verdad” (Monument to the Memory and Truth). This granite wall has the names of over 25,000 people who either died or went missing during the civil conflict of the 1980’s. It is similar to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC, except that there is also a mural on the first part of the wall.
This section shows the Salvadoran people holding up an image of Mons. Oscar Romero, a Jesuit priest who was asassinated for speaking out against the goverment, and supporting the liberation of the poor. He was a fighter for peace, love, and reconcliation in the midst of terrible violence.
March 24th marked the 32nd anniversary of his death, and I traveled to San Salvador, El Salvador to learn about his life and participate in the commemorative events. Every year there is a march and vigil through downtown San Salvador.
It was a powerful experience to sit and pray in the small chapel where he led morning Mass every day, and where he was assassinated. Walking in solidarity with Salvadorans and people from around the world who come to honor his contribution, I was reminded about our need for prophetic voices. Today, as El Salvador especially, is experiencing high levels of violence and corruption in political systems, Romero’s voice calls us to commit ourselves to a different path. Romero also calls the Church back to its identity–bearing persecution in the name of fierce love; pilgrims of peace, bolding proclaiming the Good News.
A quote from Mons. Romero:
“Let us be today’s Christians. Let us not take fright at the boldness of today’s church. With Christ’s light let us illuminate even the most hideous caverns of the human person: torture, jail, plunder, want, chronic illness. The oppressed must be saved, not with a revolutionary salvation, in mere human fashion, but with the holy revolution of the Son of Man, who dies on the cross to cleanse God’s image, which is soiled in today’s humanity, a humanity so enslaved, so selfish, so sinful.”
― Oscar A. Romero, The Violence of Love
Mons. Romero is in the center in a white robe.