At the Romero Beatification: Eyewitness to History (video)

(SAN SALVADOR) The beatification celebration for Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero is building up momentum, playing Sombrero Azul, the national anthem of the revolutionary left during the bloody barbaric civil war that laid the cultural, economic and political foundation for the current gang — government violence in this pueblo muy sufrido.

They listen to the lyrics:

y que venga la alegría
a lavar el sufrimiento
y que venga la alegría
a lavar el sufrimiento
(and may happinesss come)
to wash away the suffering)

The massive crowd dances into a raucous call-and-response of ¡¡Dale Salvadoreno, Dale!! (Hit it, Salvadoran, Hit it!), in the process leaving, at least momentarily, all semblance of traditional religiosity in morgue of mainstream mass…

Suddenly, a US-born Salvadoran journalist notices a 4´5″ nun and her sisters in their brown habits singing, clapping as if doing the revolutionary song´s bidding to wash away the suffering with happiness in fulfillment of Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero´s promise: “If they kill me, I will rise again in the Salvadoran people.”

Then, the journalist watches the 4´5″ nun, who starts ecstatically singing “¡Dale Salvadoreno!”, raising her fist, erasing in that moment all distinction between ‘religion’ and ‘revolución,’ between the hope of this life and the hope of the next.

As he watched the nun, as he listened to the music and as he remembered the sufrimiento he´d known — a sufrimiento that was melting, washing away in that momentary collapse brought on by the miraculous — the journalist cried, washing the word “periodista” (journalist) on his credential onto the floor of forgetting.

In the flood of tears,t he journalist became water and swished and disappeared into the ground, giving rise to another Romero, one of millions rising prophetically out of the Crowd of Former Somebody´s. He has risen.

Romero Vive…

Reprinted with the permission of our amigos at