St. Oscar Romero spent much of his life quietly on the sidelines — he stayed in his lane. At a turning point in his life, God called him to be a voice for those on the margins, and he responded with fearlessness — even in the face of death. This playlist captures the courage that made St. Oscar Romero a troublemaker for justice.
Romero was a Catholic priest in El Salvador, where he was born. He was named archbishop during a politically tumultuous time in the 1980s: people were protesting political and economic inequality and the country was on the brink of a civil war. Anyone speaking out against the government was being silenced.
Romero struggled with a hot temper and perfectionist tendencies. He lived with anxiety and depression. He was an introvert who preferred to be left alone. He quietly served the people in his community, but refrained from questioning the government.
In 1977, a close friend of Romero’s was murdered because of his activism. News of his friend’s death became a turning point for Romero. He experienced a newfound conviction and discovered his voice as a leader of a people seeking liberation and dignity.
Romero spent the next three years publicly speaking out against the government. He called for peaceful solutions over violence. He saw the needs of the poor and suffering and advocated for their rights. When he heard threats toward his life, he said, “You can tell them that if they succeed in killing me, I pardon and bless those who do it. A bishop may die, but the Church of God, which is in the people, will never die.”
On March 24, 1980, Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass. He was canonized a saint in 2018. St. Oscar Romero’s legacy lives on among the people of El Salvador and around the world.