Celebrating the legacy of Oscar Romero: a new mural in San Salvador
Julian Filochowski of the Archbishop Romero Trust shares news of a new mural in San Salvador that looks to honour the legacy of Oscar Romero and inspire a new generation to engage with his life.
To coincide with the March 24th Feast Day of Blessed Oscar Romero, a beautiful mosaic mural was unveiled earlier this week in San Salvador by Carmelite Sister Maria Julia Garcia.
It was blessed by the diocesan Chancellor, Mgr Rafael Urrutia, who has managed the Cause for Romero’s canonisation in El Salvador for almost 20 years. The mural is located in the grounds of the Divine Providence Cancer Hospital in front of the tiny bungalow where Archbishop Romero lived and close to the hospital chapel, the site of his martyrdom.
The mosaic, by the renowned Salvadoran artist Fernando Llort, is entitled ‘Monseñor Romero – Open to Those Who Suffer’ and is designed to honour Romero in this centenary year of his birth. The theme of the mural is based loosely on chapter four of St Luke’s gospel.
Llort depicts Archbishop Romero bringing ‘the Good News’ to the poor, the sick and the forgotten ones of El Salvador – with symbols of Jesus as the new sun, the sun of divine justice, together with the Father and the Spirit, alongside the community of El Salvador. The mural is a delightful array of colourful, and typically Llort, images – reminiscent of those he designed for the Romero Cross Shrine in St George’s Cathedral in Southwark.
At the start of 2017 a special wall was built for the mural by the Carmelite Sisters. Then with a small grant from Jesuit Missions in Britain, working through the Archbishop Romero Trust, the mosaic was completed this week.
Richard Greenwood, of Jesuit Missions, said, “Romero’s example in living an option for the poor is affecting and inspiring more and more people. We are delighted to have been able to help celebrate and continue that legacy”.
There is continuing prayer and widespread hope and expectation that Blessed Oscar’s canonisation might be announced during this centenary year.