Saints are made by how they live, not how they die. In March and April, the peoples church remembers two saints: El Salvadors Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero and Germanys Lutheran pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. While their deaths were "spectacular" - Romero gunned down while saying Mass and Bonhoeffer hanged in a Nazi concentration camp - it is their lives, not their deaths, that teach us about Christian faith.
This year, the date of Romeros assassination falls on Holy Thursday. As Jesus knelt to wash the feet of his disciples in an act of revolutionary humility, I imagine the many times Romero knelt. Praying as a teenager for his vocation, which prompted him to leave the carpenter shop and go to seminary. Prostrating himself before a bishop at his ordination in Rome on April 4, 1942. Romeros doctoral degree was in ascetical theology. He wanted to be holy. I imagine him kneeling before a statue of the Virgin with a rosary in his hand.