View full image. Photography © EPA/Oscar Rivera.
Commemorating the beatification of Archbishop Óscar Romero.

The beatification of Archbishop Óscar Romero brought half a million people to the Plaza Divino Salvador del Mundo. Among them: dozens of alumni from Santa Clara’s Casa de la Solidaridad in El Salvador, as well as Ana María Pineda, RSM, an associate professor of religious studies who this year taught a course at SCU on Romero and the Salvadoran martyrs.

In February, days after Pope Francis officially declared Romero a martyr, Sister Pineda and colleague Juan Velasco hosted “A Legacy of Love and Justice,” honoring Romero and Rutilio Grande, S.J., a Salvadoran Jesuit killed by soldiers in 1977. Grande was Romero’s friend; his assassination was a catalyst for Romero taking the cause of El Salvador’s poor as his own. That in turn cost Archbishop Romero his life; in March 1980, he was shot while saying Mass.

The Church has also begun the process of sainthood for Fr. Grande—an uncle to Sister Pineda. Born in San Salvador, she lived in the United States; in 1979 she traveled to meet Archbishop Romero. “His beatification recognizes what he was in the life of the Church in El Salvador—and also beyond those borders,” she says.

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