The Salvadoran community and other Latin Americans in Los Angeles today honored Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the murdered archbishop of San Salvador, on the occasion of his centenary.
The popular Douglas MacArthur Park, a meeting point of the Salvadoran community and where there is a place in its honor, has been the place where various organizations have initiated events to mark the centenary of the birth of the so-called “San Romero de América” and to whom In 2015 the pope Francisco beatified in a massive mass in San Salvador.
“At the international level, Monsignor Romero is the most respected, best known and most beloved person in El Salvador,” Carlos Vaquerano, executive director of the Salvadoran Leadership Education Fund (Salef), told Efe.
Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez was born on August 15, 1917 in Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador, and on March 24, 1980, he was shot and killed by an unknown sniper while he was conducting a Mass in the chapel of the Divine Providence Cancer Hospital in San Salvador.
A report by the United Nations Truth Commission, which investigated human rights violations during the Salvadoran War (1980-1992), determined that former Army major and founder of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Party (Arena), Roberto D ‘Aubuisson, gave the order to assassinate Monsignor Romero.
The party in MacArthur Park served as a framework for the city councilman Gil Cedillo to re-inaugurate a section of 15th Street, between the Normandie and Kenmore avenues, which today is now known as Monsignor Óscar Romero Street.
The street will “solidify the presence and contributions of the Salvadoran community in the city of Los Angeles,” Cedillo told Efe on what is now the first road in the United States with the name of a Salvadoran.
Some 3 million Salvadorans live in this country, of which the third part resides in Los Angeles County. That concentration has motivated that the immigrants coming from that Central American nation, of 14 territorial demarcations, call to the Californian county like “Department 15”.
María López, consul general of El Salvador in Los Angeles, told Efe that “Romero is the clearest example of giving life, which is the most precious thing that human beings have, in favor of the poor.”
“It was trying to give voice to the ‘voiceless’, to those people who could not denounce, who could not say the atrocities that were being experienced in our country,” added the official.
Ana Grande, director of the community organization of the Monseñor Óscar Romero Clinic, told Efe that “The centenary of Monsignor represents a festival of hope, justice and love for others.”
Grande is the grand-niece of Rutilio Grande, another Salvadoran priest shot dead in 1977, a close friend of Romero’s and for whose execution he became very critical of the military regime that ruled the country.
After being “the beloved priest” of Salvadoran ruling elite, Romero happened to be indicated by the right like a “dangerous cure” by the denunciations that did in his homilies.
“The legacy of Monsignor Romero crosses the barriers, crosses borders, and also cultures, because Monsignor Romero belongs to everyone,” added Grande.
The homage in the angelic city, where there will be a dozen activities, is one of several that are developed today not only in other states but logically in El Salvador and other countries of the American continent.
This Sunday, Archbishop Jose Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will celebrate in honor of Romero a mass in the cathedral, while on Tuesday August 15 Councilman Cedillo will proclaim from the city hall in 2017 as “the year of peace , Justice and hope. “