As the Synod of Bishops, which has focused on the role of youth in the Church, ends today in Rome, Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Oscar Romero will be proclaimed Saints. Both were prominent Churchmen in the 20th Century, imbued with different gifts which touched the life of Catholics during very turbulent times.
Pope Saint Paul VI was born on September 26, 1897 and died on the Feast of the Transfiguration, August 6, 1978. His feast day will be celebrated on the day of his birth rather than on the day of his death, September 26. He served the Church as the Pope from June 1963 to August 1978. Most notably he reconvened the Second Vatican Council after the death of Pope Saint John XXIII and lead three of its four sessions. He established the Synod of Bishops and it is most fitting that his Canonization will take place at a Synod Closing Mass. The miracle attributed to his canonization was the healing of an unborn child within the womb. He was a staunch defender of the sanctity of human life.
Saint Oscar Romero was born on the Solemnity of the Assumption, August 15, 1917 and was martyred on March 24, 1980 while he was celebrating Mass in a Catholic Hospital Chapel. His feast day will be observed on March 24. He was the Archbishop of El Salvador and often spoke about poverty, injustice, torture and political murders. He was hated by the government of San Salvador and beloved by the sheep of his flock!
O God, who to pasture your people filled the Blessed Pope Paul VI and Oscar Romero with a spirit of truth and of love, grant that, as we celebrate their canonization, we may benefit by imitating them through and be given relief through their intercession.
May the week ahead be filled with every grace and blessing!