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Pope draws lessons for Salvadorans from life of St. Romero

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Calls on saints teaching that all Catholics should be "martyrs," that is, "witnesses"

Today, Pope Francis greeted pilgrims from El Salvador, finding a lesson from St. Oscar Romero, canonized Sunday, for each group of his listeners.

To his “brothers in the episcopate,” Pope Francis spoke of how Archbishop Romero “knew how to perfectly embody the image of the Good Shepherd, who gave his life for his sheep.”

He urged the priests and religious accompanying him for the canonization to facilitate repentance and forgiveness.

Francis noted how Archbishop Romero taught that every Catholic must be a “martyr” — “because being a martyr means bearing witness.”

“God wishes to be present in our lives and he calls us to announce his message of freedom to the whole of humanity,” Francis said.

Only in Him can we be free: “Free of sin, free from evil, from hate in our hearts, free to love and welcome the Lord” and our brothers and sisters. “A true freedom,” to “wake up the hope of salvation in each heart.”

Pope Francis sent his greetings to all “the holy people of God in El Salvador,” rejoicing in seeing one of their countrymen honored. He praised them for their religious life, which they have applied to both their social and family lives, despite having faced “the scourge and division of war” in their recent history. Pope Francis concluded using the memory of Saint Óscar Romero as an “opportunity to launch a message of peace and reconciliation to all of the cities of Latin America.”

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