Archbishop Oscar Romero


I must tell you, as a Christian, I do not believe in death without resurrection. If I am killed, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people.’ -- In an age where the poor face intimidation and murder.

Mural of Archbishop Oscar Romero by Pedro Nonualco

Quotations about Oscar Romero

  • "Individuals often become heroes because of the extraordinary courage they demonstrate. An unyielding determination to do what is right, true, and just became a guiding principle for Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero. He demanded peace, a peace that could only be found in human rights and assurances of basic dignities. He informed the world about all the people who had been tortured, slaughtered, and of those who had "disappeared" in his country, El Salvador. He told the truth, but like many great leaders who have fought for truth, Romero was assassinated. A single bullet transformed him into a martyr. His life was taken, but his voice could not be silenced. Romero became a beacon of hope in a country ravaged by poverty, injustice, and sorrow. As with many Central American countries, El Salvador was a national security state, a country where the military is accountable to no one and the people are defenseless against tyranny and oppression. There was no peace. In the face of this injustice, Romero took it upon himself to use the Church as a light of hope and to challenge the oppressors." -- NAPF - Oscar Romero
  • "As Daniel Santiago writes regarding Romero in his book The Harvest of Justice, "But hope is not resignation; it is a commitment to continue to struggle even when things seem to warrant surrender, when hope flares, it allows human beings to overcome monstrous difficulties. It allows people to defy common sense and confound strategists. Hope experienced in the extreme, like faith and love, is miraculous." -- "On the Words of Oscar Romero"

Resources on Oscar Romero

The links on Oscar Romero given above as well as several others can be found on one of the pages of my Web site. Click here to see this page.

Tim's El Salvador Blog: Top 10 Romero Quotes

Words of Oscar Romero

  • "Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty." -- NAPF page on Oscar Romero

  • We must not seek the child Jesus in the pretty figures of our Christmas cribs. We must seek him among the undernourished children who have gone to bed at night with nothing to eat, among the poor newsboys who will sleep covered with newspapers in doorways.   --Archbishop Oscar Romero, December 24, 1979

  • If we are worth anything, it is not because we have more money or more talent, or more human qualities.
    Insofar as we are worth anything, it is because we are grafted on to Christ's life, his cross and resurrection.
    That is a person's measure. --Archibishop Oscar Romero, March 4 1979

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mural of Oscar Romero

  • In the sermon just minutes before his death, Archbishop Romero reminded his congregation of the parable of the wheat. "Those who surrender to the service of the poor through love of Christ, will live like the grains of wheat that dies. It only apparently dies. If it were not to die, it would remain a solitary grain. The harvest comes because of the grain that dies We know that every effort to improve society, above all when society is so full of injustice and sin, is an effort that God blesses; that God wants; that God demands of us". "I am bound, as a pastor, by divine command to give my life for those whom I love, and that is all Salvadoreans, even those who are going to kill me." These words appeared in a newspaper just two weeks before Archbishop Romero was shot while celebrating Holy Communion in the hospital which had been his home since his enthronement in 1977. -- Saint Peter's Church - Oscar Romero

  • " A church that suffers no persecution but enjoys the privileges and support of the things of the earth - beware! - is not the true church of Jesus Christ. A preaching that does not point out sin is not the preaching of the gospel. A preaching that makes sinners feel good, so that they are secured in their sinful state, betrays the gospel's call." (1/22/78) -- Salt of the Earth's remembrance of Archbishop Oscar Romero

  • "We suffer with those who have disappeared, those who have had to flee their homes, and those who have been tortured." -Oscar Romero (1977) -- Archbishop Oscar Romero - Caracen
  • On March 23, 1980, Archbishop Romero made the following appeal to the men of the armed forces:

    "Brothers, you came from our own people. You are killing your own brothers. Any human order to kill must be subordinate to the law of God, which says, 'Thou shalt not kill'. No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. No one has to obey an immoral law. It is high time you obeyed your consciences rather than sinful orders. The church cannot remain silent before such an abomination. ...In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cry rises to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you: stop the repression"

    The day following this speech, Archbishop Romero was murdered. -- Archbishop Oscar Romero - Caracen

  • "When the church hears the cry of the oppressed it cannot but denounce the social structures that give rise to and perpetuate the misery from which the cry arises." (8/6/78). -- The Church: Called to Repentance, Called to Prophecy

Related: Resources on Archbishop Oscar Romero