As he came to the end of his first year as archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero had a strong presentiment of the rivers of blood that would flow in the years ahead, and he spoke out vigorously against violence in every form. He condemned the killings and kidnappings perpetrated by government troops, death squads, and guerrilla forces, but he deplored as well the institutionalized violence of the political and ecomic structures that ruthlessly oppressed the poor. With an integrity and authenticity rare in the contemporary church, Romero managed to find an extraordinary synthesis between orthodoxy and Gospel praxis, and he exhibited a beautiful blend of deep prayerful spirituality and effective action for justice. Because of these achievements, he has become a mightily attractive ecclesiastical figure for the twenty-first century and a genuine icon for our skeptical times. Romero's passionate homilies capture the combative spirit of a church trying to restore hope and direction to a country in crisis. The present volume is an English translation of the 44 homilies delivered between November 27, 1977, and May 28, 1978, corresponding to the second volume of the original Spanish edition and to Cycle A of the church's liturgy.
Oscar A. Romero was ordained as a priest in 1942. He served the diocese of San Miguel for 25 years. In 1977 he was the surprise choice as San Salvador as new archbishop. He became the voice of the poor, speaking about the violations of human rights and exploitation. He saw six of his priests assassinated before he himself was gunned down at the altar as he celebrated a requiem mass in 1980. He was beatified by Pope Francis in 2015.