24th March Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero

Second of seven children born to Santo Romero and Guadaleupe de Jesus Galdamez. Ordained on 4 April 1942 in Rome, Italy. Parish priest of Anamoros, La Union, El Salvador in 1943. Secretary to the diocese of San Miguel, El Salvador in 1944. Auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador and titular bishop of Tambeae on 25 April 1970. A conservative man and cleric by nature, he was at odds with many of the area priests who were opposed the repressive El Salvadorian government, and who were aligned with leftist ideologies. Bishop of Santiago de Maria, El Salvador on 15 October 1974. Archbishop of San Salvador on 3 February 1977. By this point Romero had come to realize that the ruling class had no concern for the condition of the rest of the population, and was determined to violently repress any opposition. He was out-spoken the cause of the poor and oppressed, and always within the confines of his vocation. Martyr.

A PRAYER OF OSCAR ROMERO

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders;
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future that is not our own.
Amen.

Novena to Blessed Romero

ACT OF LOVE TO GOD

I believe faithfully and truly in the Mystery of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three distinct persons and one true God, in whom I firmly trust to obtain the perfection of the pain of having offended His Most Holy Majesty, through the merits of My Lord Jesus Christ, those of His Blessed Mother and those of my glorious advocate Blessed Oscar Romero; I entreat the Lord to always preserve in me this living faith, to grant me the forgiveness of my sins, provide for my needs, and for what I ask in this Novena, if it is for His honor and for the good of my soul. If not, may I live obediently in His holy will, as that which suits me best.
Amen.

PREPARATORY PRAYER FOR EACH DAY

Glorious Blessed Oscar Romero, we turn to you, confident of your intercession. We are drawn to you with a special devotion and we know that our supplications will be more pleasing to God our Lord, if you, who are so beloved of Him, present them to Him. Your charity, an admirable reflection of God’s own, compels you to succor all misery, to console all sorrow and to gratify all desires and needs, if it is to be of benefit to our souls. Look, then, upon our miseries and sorrows, our labors and needs, our good desires, and help us to assure ourselves more and more of our eternal salvation with the practice of good works and the imitation of your virtues. And, in particular, we ask you to obtain for us from God the special grace that, by this devout Novena, we confidently hope to attain.
Amen.

FINAL PRAYER FOR EACH DAY

God the Father of all men and women, who has given us in your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero, a faithful and zealous Pastor, demonstrating a fervent love of your Church and in her in a special way, the poor and the needy, grant that we may know how to live according to the Gospel. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

FIRST DAY

Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By the generosity with which your Bishop Oscar Romero responded to God’s call, recognizing the will of God with living faith always and in everything, I entreat you, in addition to the particular grace of this Novena, to grant me to be always faithful to your commands with a readiness and generosity similar to his, so that the faith received at Baptism will continuously grow and mature in my soul.
Amen.

Speak your petition(s) …
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory.
Conclude with the final prayer for each day.

SECOND DAY

Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
O Lord, who always hears the pleas of your saints; today we address you through the Glorious Martyr Oscar Romero to ask you with faith and confidence for all the needs of Our Mother Church, that she may ever hold fast in the fulfillment of your will. Also, Lord, we pray for the sick who invoke in faith the name of your Glorious Martyr Oscar Romero.

Speak your petition(s) …
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory.
Conclude with the final prayer for each day.

THIRD DAY

Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By the unyielding hope that your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero persevered in throughout his life, trusting fully in your paternal providence, I humbly implore you, in addition to the particular grace of this Novena, to grant me never to lose heart before the adversities of life, but rather, animated by the hope of Heaven, to live always confident of your merciful love.
Amen.

Speak your petition(s) …
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory.
Conclude with the final prayer for each day.

FOURTH DAY

Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By the burning charity that your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero felt toward the poorest of the poor, I beseech you grant me the particular grace of this Novena, and that my heart may be inflamed, more and more every day, by the divine love that burns in you, and in which you long to see all men and women consumed and purified.
Amen.

Speak your petition(s) …
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory.
Conclude with the final prayer for each day.

FIFTH DAY

Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By that inextinguishable zeal that consumed the soul of your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero in favor of the spiritual and temporal good of his beloved flock, to the point of sacrificing his life for them, I humbly pray that in addition to the particular grace of this Novena, you grant that I be more concerned for my spiritual welfare and the salvation of others.
Amen.

Speak your petition(s) …
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory.
Conclude with the final prayer for each day.

SIXTH DAY

Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By the love of work that characterized your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero in all his tasks, however ordinary and tedious they might be, I humbly beg you, Lord, that besides the particular grace of this Novena, that you grant me a great spirit of faith, to see in the use of the present moment the most effective means of seeking the glory of God, the salvation of souls and my own sanctification.
Amen.

Speak your petition(s) …
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory.
Conclude with the final prayer for each day.

SEVENTH DAY

Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By the admirable faithfulness and strength with which your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero bore, first vicariously through the others and then in his own body, the horrible contempt of his own kind, in addition to the suffering of isolation and impotence to overcome the evil around him, I beg you humbly that in addition to the particular grace of this Novena, you may grant me to accept with my eyes fixed on
you, my God, the sorrows and troubles of life.
Amen.

Speak your petition(s) …
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory.
Conclude with the final prayer for each day.

EIGHTH DAY

Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By that pious devotion that your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero always professed to the Blessed Virgin, I ardently beseech you that besides the particular grace of this Novena, you may grant me to conduct myself, always and in everything, as your loving son, in order to merit one day the joy one day of being presented by Her in your Celestial Court, to enjoy your company forever in Heaven. Amen.

Speak your petition(s) …
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory.
Conclude with the final prayer for each day.

NINTH DAY

Begin with the preparatory prayer for each day.
By that fervent love that your Martyr Bishop Oscar Romero professed for the Holy Eucharist, as the nourishment of his soul in his Masses and Communions, and as the solace of his spirit in his fervent adorations before the Sacred Tabernacle, I beg you, in addition to the special grace of this Novena, grant me that may I grow more and more devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, and to prepare my heart every day to better receive it as to gain the maximum profit.
Amen.

Speak your petition(s) …
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory.
Conclude with the final prayer for each day

NOVENA TO SAINT OSCAR ROMERO (Bishop & Martyr).

Lord Jesus Christ, we come to you
through the intercession of your Saint and Martyr, Oscar Romero.
Your grace has made him a living example
of your justice and compassion.
He came to know that to all who come to you for your help,
you show your compassion and healing power.
You are closest to us when we are weakest
and most in need of your help.
You ask us to be close to each other,
especially the poorest, as Oscar was.
I ask you now to listen to my prayer during this Novena,
and grant what I ask.
(short period of silence to present your Novena intention, said inwardly to Jesus…)
If what I ask is not for my own or others’ good,
grant me always what is best,
that I may build your kingdom of love in our world.
Blessed Oscar, pray for us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Saint Oscar Romero, pray for us

O Lord Father of Mercy, who through Jesus Christ and the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, and the action of the Holy Spirit, has bestowed on Saint Oscar Romero the grace of being an exemplary shepherd at the service of the Church, especially giving preference to the poor and needy.
Grant, Lord, that I may also learn to live according to the gospel of your Son, glorify your Saint Oscar Romero and concede, through his intercession, the favour I ask of you…
Amen.

Say the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be…