Óscar Arnulfo Romero was born on August 15, 1917 in Ciudad Barrios, in the department of San Miguel, El Salvador, Central America. He was the second of eight brothers; son of the humble and modest marriage formed by Guadalupe and Santos.
From his childhood he showed the desire to be a priest and entered the minor seminary in the city of San Miguel which at the time was directed by the Claretian Missionaries. Later he entered the Major Seminary of San José de la Montaña in San Salvador. Later on he was chosen to complete his theology studies in Rome and there, in 1942, was ordained Priest at the age of 25 years. He continued this theology studies in Rome until he had to return to El Salvador because of the World War II.
On February 23, 1977, he was appointed Archbishop of San Salvador in the midst of an environment of injustice, repression and uncertainty. On March 12 of that same year the Jesuit father Rutilio Grande, his friend, was assassinated, which caused a great impact. Monsignor Romero gathers the suggestions of the clergy and celebrates a unique Mass in Cathedral as a sign of unity of the Church and repudiation of the death of Father Rutilio Grande.
He created a Human Rights office and opened the doors of the Church to give shelter to the peasants fleeing repression. His life ended on March 24, 1980 while celebrating Mass at 6:15 p.m. in the chapel of Divine Providence Hospital in San Salvador, where he lived the three years that his ministry lasted.
Mons. Oscar Romero kept a great closeness with the Claretian Missionaries and with his Basilica of Rome all the days of his life. In the archive of the General Curia there is an autograph (dated May 3, 1979, less than a year before his death, on the occasion of a visit to the community), in which he recalls with affection the Claretians who were close to him from the beginnings of his priestly formation. Mons Romero says:
“Today I have returned to my origins: I made my minor seminary in San Miguel (El Salvador C.A.) with the beloved Claretian Fathers and here I celebrated my first Mass on April 5, 1942 –Thanks and my blessing-. O. Ar. Romero, archbishop of San Salvador.”
We join in the joy of the entire Claretian family that celebrates his memory, especially the Central American youth that gather in El Salvador these days, to continue walking and encouraging the mission of R + FC ( Romero and Claretian Family).