Tuesday, September 26, 2017
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Oscar Romero

O Romero book

A richly illustrated biography tells the story of a modern prophet and martyr.

 
"Martyrdom is a grace that I don’t believe I merit. But if God accepts the sacrifice of my life, may my blood be the seed of liberty and sign that this hope will soon become a reality. May my death, if it is accepted by God, be for the liberation of my people and a testimony of hope in the future."   — Archbishop Oscar Romero
Almost thirty years since his assassination in 1980, Oscar Romero continues to serve as one of the great Christian witnesses of our time. This illustrated biography tells his story, beginning with his humble origins and his early life as a relatively conservative priest and bishop. Only in the last three years of his life, with his consecration as archbishop of San Salvador, did he undergo an astonishing transformation--some have called it a conversion. Embracing the church's "option for the poor," he became a courageous voice for the voiceless, entering a path he knew would lead to his death. This biography reveals both  Wright is Director of the Religious Task Force on Central America. He is co-author of Oscar Romero: Reflections on His Life and Writing.
Octavio Duran is a Salvadoran Franciscan, currently working in New Jersey. He served as Romero's personal photographer and accompanied him on many trips.
So begins this lovely new biography of Oscar Romero, which was released just in time for the 30th anniversary of his assassination.  Not only does this book trace the narrative of Romero’s life, it also is chock full of black and white photographs, many of which were taken by Octavio Duran, a Franciscan from El Salvador, who served as Romero’s personal photographer.  The photo-record of Romero’s life is the book’s greatest asset, as most of the stories told here can be found elsewhere.

This is a wonderful book, accessible in its format and yet challenging us at every turn with the story of Romero’s faithfulness.   Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints is the finest introductory biography of Romero, and I highly recommend it for readers of all ages.  Indeed, it is perfect reading for the Easter season, as it embodies for us Romero’s deep faith in the resurrected Christ for whom “Neither death nor all the banners of death and hatred raised against Him and against His church can prevail.”

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