2017 is the centenary year of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero, born 15th August 1917.
Following a petition from the Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Rev
Peter Smith, to have Blessed Oscar Romero added to the liturgical
Calendar of the Diocese, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the
Discipline of the Sacraments, by virtue of the faculties granted to it
by Pope Francis, has granted that a 'liturgical commemoration' may be
celebrated annually in St George's Cathedral, Southwark, on the 24th
March, the anniversary of his martyrdom.
Although the Archdiocese did not meet the criteria for having Blessed
Oscar Romero added to the diocesan calendar, it was recognised that
'the Cathedral is home to a national shrine... and contains a number of
his relics...' and so the request was granted for the Cathedral.
Archbishop Peter was very pleased to have received this permission,
as was The Archbishop Romero Trust which encouraged and supported the
application, believed to be the only such granted outside Central
America. His Grace said: "I am delighted that the Holy See has approved
this request, and hope that the example and prayers of Blessed Romero
will prove a blessing to the diocese and to all who visit the
On 3rd February 2015 Archbishop Romero's was formally declared a
martyr, and beatified in San Salvador, El Salvador, on 23rd May 2015.
A four metre three dimensional painted Salvadoran Cross, by Fernando
Llort, known as the 'Romero Cross', and a memorial were installed in the
Cathedral, and on the 19th September 2013 blessed during an ecumenical
service. The cross contains a fragment of Archbishop Romero's
blood-stained alb and his zucchetto.
Bishop Patrick Lynch,
auxiliary bishop in Southwark and titular bishop of Castro, at
Archbishop Peter's request, will celebrate the 12.30pm Mass in St
George's Cathedral on Friday 24th March 2017 in honour of the memory of
Blessed Oscar Romero,
the 37th anniversary of his assassination.
Lynch will be vested in a red chasuble originally made for the
beatification ceremony and presented to the Cathedral by the Diocese of
San Salvador; he will also use the new collect prayer for Blessed Oscar
The intention at the Mass will be to pray for the repose of the
soul of Bishop Michael Evans, former bishop of East Anglia and for
nearly 28 years priest of the diocese of Southwark, who had a great
admiration and devotion for Oscar Romero, and was a founding trustee of
the Archbishop Romero Trust.