TO THE PILGRIMS OF EL SALVADOR
ON THE OCCASION OF THE CANONIZATION OF MONSEÑOR ROMERO
Paul VI classroom
Monday, October 15, 2018
Dear brothers and sisters:
Good morning and thank you very much for being here. The canonization of Bishop Oscar Romero, a distinguished pastor of the American continent, allows me to have an encounter with all of you who came to Rome to venerate him and, at the same time, to express his attachment and closeness to the Successor of Peter. Thank you very much
First of all, I greet my brothers in the Episcopate, the bishops of El Salvador, come to Rome accompanied by their priests and faithful, and such a nun, right? Saint Óscar Romero knew how to incarnate with perfection the image of the good Shepherd who gives his life for his sheep. Therefore, and now much more since their canonization, they can find in him an "example and a stimulus" in the ministry entrusted to them. An example of predilection for those most in need of God's mercy. Stimulus to witness the love of Christ and the care for the Church, knowing how to coordinate the action of each of its members and collaborating with the other particular Churches with collegial affection. May the holy Bishop Romero help you to be for all signs of that unity in the plurality that characterizes the holy faithful People of God.
I also greet with special affection the numerous priests, religious men and women who are here and those who remained in the Fatherland. You, who feel called to live a Christian commitment inspired by the style of the new saint, become worthy of his teachings, being above all "servants of the priestly people", in the vocation to which Jesus, the only and eternal priest, has called. Saint Óscar Romero saw the priest placed in the middle of two great abysses: that of the infinite mercy of God and that of the infinite misery of men (see Homily during the priestly ordination, December 10, 1977). Dear brothers, work tirelessly to give channel to that infinite longing of God to forgive men who repent of their misery, and to open the hearts of their brothers to the tenderness of God's love, also through the prophetic denunciation of the evils of the world.
I would also like to extend a cordial greeting to the many pilgrims who came to Rome to participate in this canonization, and also to the members of the Salvadoran community in Rome. The message of Saint Oscar Romero is addressed to all without exception, large and small, for all. I was impressed when a ninety-year-old grandmother came in and shouted and applauded as if she were fifteen. The strength of faith is the strength of the People of God. He, Oscar Romero, repeated strongly that every Catholic must be a martyr, because martyr means witness, that is, witness of God's message to men (see Homily on the First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 1977). God wants to be present in our lives, and calls us to announce his message of freedom to all humanity. Only in Him can we be free: free from sin, from evil, free from hatred in our hearts -he was a victim of hatred-, totally free to love and welcome the Lord and our brothers and sisters. A true freedom already on earth, which passes through concern for the concrete man to awaken in each heart the hope of salvation.
We know well that this is not easy, that's why we need the support of prayer. We need to be united with God and in communion with the Church. Saint Óscar tells us that without God, and without the ministry of the Church, this is not possible. On one occasion, he referred to the confirmation as to the "sacrament of martyrs" (Homily, December 5, 1977). And it is that without "that force of the Holy Spirit, which the early Christians received from their bishops, from the Pope ..., they would not have stood the test of persecution; they would not have died for Christ »(ibid.).
Let us take to our prayer these prophetic words, asking God for his strength in the daily struggle so that, if necessary, "we are also willing to give our lives for Christ" (ibid.).
Also from here I send my greeting to all the Holy People of God who are on pilgrimage in El Salvador and today vibrate for the joy of seeing one of their children in the honor of the altars. Its people have a living faith that expresses in different forms of popular religiosity and that shapes their social and family life: the faith of the Holy Faithful People of God. To the priests, to the bishops, I ask you: «Take care of the Holy Faithful People of God, do not scandalize it, take care of it». And the difficulties have not been lacking, the scourge of division, the scourge of war; violence has been felt strongly in its recent history, but that people resists and goes forward. There are few Salvadorans who have had to leave their land looking for a better future.
The memory of Saint Oscar Romero is an exceptional opportunity to send a message of peace and reconciliation to all the peoples of Latin America. the people wanted him to Mons. Romero, the People of God wanted it. And do you know why? Because the People of God know how to sniff well where there is holiness. And here among you, I would have to thank so many people, all the people who accompanied him, who followed him, who were close to him. But how do I thank? So I chose a person, a person who was very close to him, and accompanied him and followed him; a very humble person of the town: Angelita Morales.
In it I put the representation of the People of God. I would ask Angelita if she can come [applause and songs as Mrs. Morales approaches]. Together with the joy of all of you, I ask Mary, Queen of Peace, to tenderly care for all the inhabitants of El Salvador and for our Lord to bless his people with the caress of his mercy. And, please ... - Did you pay entrance to enter here, or not? [They reply: "No!"] -. Well, now they're going to have to pay, and the price is that they pray for me. We pray to the Virgin before receiving the blessing. Ave María ... Saint Óscar Romero [R: Pray for us], and bless them Almighty God ...
Source: FULL TEXT Share from Vatican.va - origianl in Spanish