Blessed Oscar Romero was born in El Salvador on August 15, 1917. He was one of eight children and when he began school the only grades available were one through three. But his intelligence was obvious and a friend of the family who was a teacher, Anita Iglesias, began tutoring Oscar. His thoughts of becoming a priest began to blossom.
Romero entered a minor seminary when he was 13. He had to leave after three months to help take care of his mom who was ill after giving birth to her eighth child. Upon returning to school, he managed to enter the National Seminary in San Salvador. He had such a keen mind he was able to finish his studies at the Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood April 4, 1942.
Father Romero began his ministry as a parish priest in Anamoros and then San Miguel where he worked for more than 20 years with groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. In 1970, he was appointed an auxiliary bishop for San Salvador, and in 1977 was appointed archbishop.
On March 23, 1980, Archbishop Romero gave a homily asking Salvadoran soldiers to obey God’s law over government orders to take life. The next evening, while saying Mass in a hospital chapel, he was gunned down by assassins.
Some 250,000 people attended Archbishop Romero’s funeral. He was beatified on May 23, 2015.