Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez
Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (August 15, 1917– March 24, 1980) was a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador. He became the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, succeeding Luis Chávez. He was assassinated on March 24, 1980.As an archbishop who witnessed ongoing violations of human rights, Romero initiated and gave his status to a group which spoke out on behalf of the poor and the victims of the Salvadoran civil war.
In many ways Romero was closely associated with Liberation Theology and openly condemned both Marxism and Capitalism. In 1980, as he finished giving his homily during Mass, Romero was assassinated by a right-wing group headed by former major Roberto D'Aubuisson. This 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 the ten 20th century martyrs who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey in London. In 2008, he was chosen as one of the 15 Champions of World Democracy by the Europe-based magazine A Different View.