Saints Among Us //Blessed Oscar Romero and a Memorial for Texas Victims

For all the saints who from their labors rest,who Thee by faith before the world confessed; Thy name,Jesus,be forever blest.Alleluia, Alleluia!

For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye, saw the bright crown descending from the sky, and seeing, grasped it, thee we glorify. Alleluia, Alleluia!

For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. Hebrews 6:10

Today, I have taken time out of my day to learn about Blessed Oscar Romero. But before I sat down to read more about his life, I am notified on my phone through my news app that at least 27 people have been killed in San Antonio, Texas today (Sunday).

I truthfully do not know how to react to horrific news like this anymore. News that we are reading about more frequently these days.

Back track five years earlier- if I were to hear news like this, I’d sit for a couple minutes in shock and horror, thankful I wasn’t around such atrocity.

Now, the shock and horror lingers past a couple minutes, and I look out my window wondering if any of us are safe anymore. I’m in disbelief that we have had yet another mass shooting in America.

I will say my prayers tonight for the victims, as well as for the shooter and for those who hold such evil in their hearts. As you are reading this, I ask you to stop for a minute and say a Hail Mary for our world, and for world peace.

There is such a temptation to despair at the state of our world today, and to believe that there is no hope anymore for goodness and kindness. I feel that temptation so strongly inside of me. But maybe it is not a coincidence that I should be writing about the life of Blessed Oscar Romero, a martyr of the Faith, who was assassinated in war torn El Salvador. Oscar Romero was born on the feast of the Assumption of our Lady in Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador in the year 1917. He was ordained in April of 1942 and became known for his preaching against the violence of the civil war as well as encouraging charity amongst the poor. He bravely urged government soldiers of the army to cease fire against the guerilla groups, reminding them of the sixth commandment. He also witnessed fellow priests be assassinated, and knew that he would soon enough be killed.

On March 24th, 1980, as he was celebrating Mass in the Hospital of Divine Providence, Blessed Oscar was killed by a single shot in front of the crucifix.

What can we learn the most from this courageous priest who put his life on the line knowing he’d be killed after watching fellow priests be assassinated?

What I take away the most from this saint’s life is that he simply reinforced the Gospel. It was simple, but at the core of it, he was letting Christ use him as an instrument of love. How can we urge love and peace in this time of tension in our country where we are more frequently reading of violence in the news? Do what Blessed Oscar Romero did- speak up against the evils of the time, love the poor, and live a sacramental life. Do not let violence win!

We must love even harder than ever before, and ask Blessed Oscar Romero to intercede for us to teach us to love as he loved with courage and faith.

To Jesus through Mary-Sirena Mafnas

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