San Salvador (Agenzia Fides) - The Episcopal Conference of El Salvador (CEDES) has invited everyone to prepare spiritually for the beatification of its four martyrs, which, as announced will take place on January 22, 2022: Fr Rutilio Grande, Jesuit, Manuel Solórzano and Nelson Rutilio Lemus Chávez, lay people, and the Italian Franciscan Friar Cosme Spessotto, OFM (see Fides, 1/9/2021).
In the convocation of CEDES, entitled "Let's prepare ourselves to actively participate in the beatification of our martyrs", we recall the "immense joy" felt for the canonization of Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero, inviting everyone to rejoice at the forthcoming beatification of the four Salvadoran martyrs, which will take place on Saturday, January 22, 2022, in the churchyard of the Cathedral of San Salvador, at five in the afternoon. The participation of the faithful in presence will be determined by the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic, however in all the churches in the country it will be possible to follow the celebration on television.
The place chosen is emblematic, the Bishops write, because "it was precisely in that square that, on Palm Sunday in 1980, an immense crowd expressed their love and gratitude to our saint Óscar Arnullo Romero, in an unforgettable unfinished funeral Mass that, unfortunately, was marked by violence". The four martyrs who will be beatified are part of the history of the Church of El Salvador, a history tormented and marked by "a chasm of fratricidal violence that took the lives of countless innocent victims, most of whom known only to God". "It seems providential - they continue - that we can venerate a Salvadoran Jesuit, an Italian Franciscan and two lay people from our town, a young man and an elderly person, who have in common the fact of having shed their blood for Christ in the midst of the roar of war ... Each of these witnesses to faith has an original contribution to offer to the Church so that it remains faithful to its mission". While the long-awaited date of his beatification arrives, the bishops invite the faithful to open their hearts to the Word of God, to know the new blesseds, to allow themselves to be questioned by their testimony: "our martyrs are credible witnesses of an outgoing Church, a compassionate and merciful Church, a Church that announces the Kingdom of God with words and deeds". For this reason, they call for spiritual preparation, announcing some subsidies to support this path, and they invite all the baptized, each in their own situation, to also be "martyrs", that is, "witnesses" of Jesus Christ and builders of the Kingdom of God as the blessed martyrs were. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 12/10/2021)