Until his assassination by right wing gunmen, Archbishop Oscar A. Romero (1917-1980) of San Salvador spoke out courageously in defense of human rights and social justice in strife-torn El Salvador.
Romero’s campaign for human rights in El Salvador won him many national and international admirers as well as a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. It also won him enemies, however. On March 24, 1980, a group of unidentified gunmen entered a small chapel in San Salvador while Romero was celebrating mass and shot him to death. The archbishop had foreseen the danger of assassination and had spoken of it often, declaring his willingness to accept martyrdom if his blood might contribute to the solution of the nation’s problems.
“As a Christian,” he remarked on one such occasion, “I do not believe in death without resurrection. If they kill me, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people.”