A Pastor's Last Homily

This article is excerpted from Archbishop Romero's homily delivered in San Salvador on March 23, 1980, the day before his death. The archbishop had become increasingly vocal in his support for popular organizations and his denunciation of military repression in the weeks before he was killed. Many believe that this Lenten homily, which most directly addressed the immorality of the military's actions, brought on his assassination at the hand of right-wing forces.

His message opened with a greeting to those attending the Mass, which included an ecumenical delegation from the United States, and to those listening on radio YSAX. The radio station, which was bombed February 19 as a result of its criticism of the government of El Salvador, was rebuilt with popular support.

We are grateful to Nena Terrell of the Institute for Policy Studies and Sally Hanlon of Tabor House, both of Washington, D.C., for this translation. --
The Editors

We want to greet the entities of YSAX, which for so long have awaited this moment which, thanks to God, has arrived. We know the risk that is run by our poor station for being the instrument and vehicle of truth and justice, but we recognize that the risk has to be taken, for behind that risk is an entire people that upholds this word of truth and justice....

We give thanks to God that a message that doesn't mean to be more than a modest reflection of the spoken Word finds marvelous channels of outreach and tells many people that, in the context of Lent, all of this is preparation for our Easter, and Easter is a shout of victory. No one can extinguish that life which Christ revived. Not even death and hatred against him and against his Church will be able to overcome it. He is the victor!

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