RELIGION

Photos Of The Life, Death, And Life After Death Of Archbishop Oscar Romero

05/22/2015 11:42 am ET | Updated May 26, 2015

Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated in 1980, while celebrating Mass at Church of the Divine Providence, in San Salvador, El Salvador. Thirty-five years later, Romero is to be beatified by Pope Francis who has declared him a martyr.

Archbishop Romero inspired Christians around the world with his commitment to the poor, the outcast, and the marginalized -- those whom Jesus described as the 'least of these.' Archbishop Romero's stirring words from his last sermon capture the essence of his ministry and continue to inspire:

Those who surrender to the service of the poor through love of Christ, will live like the grains of wheat that dies. It only apparently dies. If it were not to die, it would remain a solitary grain. The harvest comes because of the grain that dies . . . We know that every effort to improve society, above all when society is so full of injustice and sin, is an effort that God blesses; that God wants; that God demands of us.

Here is a collection of photographs of Archbishop Oscar Romero in life, death and his legacy after death:

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    FILE - This undated file photo shows Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero who was gunned down while giving Mass in a San Salvador church March 24, 1980. The upcoming beatification of El Salvador Archbishop Oscar Romero is doing more than just giving Latin America its long-awaited saint-in-waiting. It has helped redefine the Catholic Church's concept of martyrdom and paved the way for others killed for doing God's work to follow in Romero's saint-making footsteps. (AP Photo, File)
  • Ken Hawkins / ZUMA Press / Alamy
    Jan 1, 1979 - San Salvador, El Salvador - EXCLUSIVE - The martyr Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador is hugged by a parishioner at a mass in his Church of the Divine Providence in San Salvador, El Salvador where he was later slain at the altar by a right wing gunman in 1980. The Archbishop was slain at the altar of his Church of the Divine Providence by a right wing gunman in 1980. Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez was a bishop of the Catholic Church in El Salvador.
  • Ken Hawkins / ZUMA Press / Alamy
    Jan 1, 1979 - San Salvador, El Salvador - EXCLUSIVE - The martyr Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador is welcomed by congregants before a mass in his Church of the Divine Providence in San Salvador, El Salvador where he was later slain at the altar by a right wing gunman in 1980. Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez was a bishop of the Catholic Church in El Salvador. He became the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, succeeding Luis Chavez, and spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture. Romero was assassinated while offering Mass on March 24, 1980.
  • Ken Hawkins / ZUMA Press / Alamy
    Jan 1, 1979 - San Salvador, El Salvador - EXCLUSIVE - The martyr Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador speaks with the press after a mass in his Church of the Divine Providence in San Salvador, El Salvador where he was later slain at the altar by a right wing gunman in 1980. Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez was a bishop of the Catholic Church in El Salvador. He became the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, succeeding Luis Chavez, and spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture. Romero was assassinated while offering Mass on March 24, 1980.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    FILE - This August 1977 file photo shows Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador. The upcoming beatification of El Salvador Archbishop Oscar Romero is doing more than just giving Latin America its long-awaited saint-in-waiting. It has helped redefine the Catholic Church's concept of martyrdom and paved the way for others killed for doing God's work to follow in Romero's saint-making footsteps. (AP Photo, File)
  • © Bettmann/CORBIS
    5/13/1979-San Salvador: Archbishop Oscar Arnulfe Romero calls on the International diplomatic community to put pressure on the government to end repression at a Mass before some 2,500 people.
  • Ken Hawkins / ZUMA Press / Alamy
    Jan 1, 1979 - San Salvador, El Salvador - EXCLUSIVE - The martyr Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador is welcomed by congregants before a mass in his Church of the Divine Providence in San Salvador, El Salvador where he was later slain at the altar by a right wing gunman in 1980. Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez was a bishop of the Catholic Church in El Salvador. He became the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, succeeding Luis Chavez, and spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture. Romero was assassinated while offering Mass on March 24, 1980.
  • AP
    Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero is carried to a waiting improvised ambulance for a futile trip to a nearby hospital, March 25, 1980, in San Salvador. The archbishop was fatally wounded by an assassin's bullet to his heart. (AP Photo/Vazquez Becker)
  • AP
    Thousands gather outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in San Salvador as the casket of slain Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero is carried into the church for funeral services, March 26, 1980. The Catholic archbishop was slain as he officiated at a Mass at a San Salvador hospital. (AP Photo/Valente Cotera)
  • AP
    As a priest cleans the glass covering the casket of Monsignor Oscar Romero, late Archbishop of El Salvador, mourners including a group of nurses, file by, March 27, 1980, at the Metropolitan Cathedral in San Salvador. Romero was assassinated as he celebrated Mass. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A nun plants a kiss on the forehead of assassinated Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero at the Hospital of Divine Providence in San Salvador, March 25, 1980. The activist anti-violence Roman Catholic cleric was shot to death by gunmen as he celebrated Mass; he was pronounced dead at the hospital. (AP Photo/Eduardo Vazquez Becker)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A woman carries a portrait of slain Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero that reads in Spanish: "Martyred by faith haters," during a protest by the relatives of people who disappeared in the nation's civil war in San Salvador, El Salvador, Thursday, May 21, 2015. The assassination came in the opening days of the Salvadoran civil war, one of the last major conflicts of the Cold War pitting leftist guerrillas against a U.S.-backed military junta and subsequent governments. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
  • Ken Hawkins / ZUMA Press / Alamy
    Artifacts - including a driver's license -belonging to the martyr Archbishop Oscar Romero on display in the priests residence turned museum across from the Church of the Divine Providence. The Archbishop was slain at the altar of his Church of the Divine Providence by a right wing gunman in 1980. "scar Arnulfo Romero y Gald·mez was a bishop of the Catholic Church in El Salvador. He became the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, succeeding Luis Ch·vez, and spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture. Romero was assassinated while offering Mass on March 24,1980."scar Arnulfo Romero y Gald·mez was a bishop of the Catholic Church in El Salvador. He became the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, succeeding Luis Ch·vez, and spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A mural of Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero decorates a wall in a street where a man carries bread in Panchimalco, El Salvador, Thursday, May 21, 2015. Thirty-five years after a right-wing death squad assassin's bullet pierced his heart, Romero will join the hierarchy of the blessed on Saturday even as conservative corners of El Salvador and the Vatican still harbor his critics. Romero was killed while celebrating Mass on March 24, 1980. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
  • MARVIN RECINOS via Getty Images
    A girl participates in a pilgrimage of light in San Salvador on March 21, 2015 as part of the events to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the assassination of archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, who was assassinated on March 24, 1980. Romero will be beatified in El Salvador May 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Marvin RECINOS (Photo credit should read Marvin RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    In this March 15, 2015 photo, a young man paints a portrait of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero as part of the preparations for the 35th anniversary of Romero's death in San Salvador, El Salvador. In 1980, Romero was assassinated while offering Mass. In 2015 Pope Francis declared that Romero died a martyr's death and he will be beatified later this year. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    FILE - In this March 9, 2014, file photo, supporters of presidential candidate Salvador Sanchez Ceren, of the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), hold up an image of Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador who was assassinated during the country's civil war in the 1980's, as they celebrate after partial results were announced by election authorities in San Salvador, El Salvador. Pope Francis decreed Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, that the slain Salvadoran Archbishop was killed in 1980 out of hatred for his Catholic faith, approving a martyrdom declaration that sets the stage for his beatification. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix,File)
  • MARVIN RECINOS via Getty Images
    A member of the presidential battalion walks past a picture of the late Archbishop Oscar Romero during a press conference at the presidential house in San Salvador, on March 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MARVIN RECINOS (Photo credit should read Marvin RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images)
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS