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He built peace

· The Pope on the beatification of Archbishop Romero ·

Archbishop Romero “built peace with the strength of love”, bearing “witness to the faith with his life, totally committed to the extreme”.

This was the spiritual profile that Pope Francis drew out on the occasion of the beatification of the Archbishop who was assassinated in 1980 while he was celebrating Mass. Representing the Pontiff at the rite on Saturday, 23 May, was Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. The Pope, however, wanted to join the celebration of the hundreds of thousands of faithful who attended the beatification, and thus sent a letter to Archbishop Romero's successor, Archbishop Escobar Alas. In recalling Archbishop Romero's attention to the least of El Salvador, the Pope wrote, “In the beautiful land of Central America, bathed by the Pacific Ocean, the Lord granted his Church a zealous bishop”. In fact “in times of difficult coexistence, Archbishop Romero knew how to lead, defend and protect his flock, remaining faithful to the Gospel and in communion with the whole Church”, paying special attention to the poor and the marginalized. This is why, he said, the beatification is a “feast day for the Salvadorian nation, and also for the neighbouring Latin American countries”.

Then referring to the blessed's witness, the Pope underlined how his voice continues “to resonate today reminding us that the Church, a convocation of brothers surrounding their Lord, is the family of God, in which there should be no division”. The Holy Father also recalled that “faith in Jesus Christ, when understood well and its final consequences assumed, generates communities that build peace and solidarity”. Then the Pope called “those who hold Archbishop Romero as a friend of faith” to invoke “him as protector and intercessor” so that they “find in him the strength and courage to build the Kingdom of God, to commit to a more equal and dignified social order”. The Pope joined the Salvadorians' prayer so that “the seed of martyrdom may flourish and become entrenched in the true paths of the sons and daughters of that nation, which proudly hears the name of the divine Saviour of the world”.

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