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Rome Reports

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"St. Oscar Romero is in each one of our hearts" Salvadoran pilgrims say

Although they were seven saints of four different nationalities, there was one flag that stood out in St. Peter's Square: this blue and white one of El Salvador.

Some 5,000 Salvadorans arrived in Rome, along with many others who traveled from different parts of Europe. Some older pilgrims lived through the sad events that led to the assassination of the bishop. 

Maria Julia had to flee her home because of the war and remembers very well how Oscar Romero became the voice of the disadvantaged.

"He defended the peasants. I was also a peasant. So, I felt good because there was a man who defended the peasants and the poor.”

Younger Salvadorans, although they did not know him, still carry in their hearts the words of the martyred bishop.

"He is an example to follow. He is 'the voice of the voiceless.' He said, 'I know that they are going to kill me but I know that I am going to rise again in my people'. Today we are seeing it. It is in each one of us, in our hearts."

These sisters grew up listening to his homilies. They say that Romero is a symbol of peace and defense of human rights.

"He symbolizes justice, equality, struggle for human rights. That's what he means to me and to my country."

"I didn't know him, but I was raised with his homilies, I was raised with his word. We all want a world full of justice, a country, an El Salvador with more equality in rights. We want an El Salvador that does not trample on the rights of women and girls. Monsignor Romero represents all that in our country."

The bravery of the words of St. Romero de America is something that has left a profound mark on all those who lived through those terrible moments of war in El Salvador. 

"I had the opportunity and the joy of being at two Masses in the cathedral. When I heard his homilies they really filled me with peace, with emotion... I was always attentive to his homilies, I have collected them all.”

Each one of these pilgrims has a personal and unique story that links him or her to St. Oscar Romero, who is already the first saint from El Salvador. He is a universal example of love, to the point of giving his life.