Today marks the thirtieth anniversary of the day Oscar A. Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, in El Salvador, was assassinated. His death took place on March 24, 1980, while he was celebrating Mass in a small chapel in a cancer hospital where he lived.
The fourth archbishop of San Salvador, Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (August 15, 1917 - March 24, 1980), after a conversion during his episcopal ministry, drew close to his people and preached a prophetic gospel, denouncing the injustice in his country and supporting the development of popular and mass organizations. He became the voice of the Salvadoran people when all other channels of expression had been crushed by the repression.
As he finished giving his homily during Mass, Romero was assassinated by a military group, which provoked an international outcry for reform in El Salvador. After his assassination, Romero was succeeded by Monsignor Arturo Rivera.
In 1997, a cause for beatification and canonization into sainthood was opened for Romero, and Pope John Paul II bestowed upon him the title of Servant of God. The process continues. He is considered by some the unofficial patron saint of the Americas and El Salvador and is often referred to as "San Romero" by Catholics in El Salvador.
Outside of Catholicism, Romero is honored by other religious denominations of Christendom, including the Church of England through the Calendar in Common Worship. He is one of ten 20th century martyrs depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey in London.