Top 10 Romero Quotes

From our friends at the San Romero Discussion Group:

The San Romero Yahoo! Discussion Group has made its selection of the TOP TEN OSCAR ROMERO QUOTES of all time, and the slain Salvadoran archbishop's impassioned assassination-eve plea to his country's military to "Stop the repression!" has topped the selections. Romero was Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977 to 1980, raising his voice to defend the interests of the poor masses and to stave off a civil war that finally exploded after his March 24, 1980 assassination in a San Salvador suburban church. The previous day, the popular cleric had delivered a stinging rebuke that culminated in a fervent entreaty, the quotation topping the list. "In the name of God, then," Romero had said, "and in the name of this suffering People, whose laments rise to Heaven, each day more tumultously, I beg you, I beseech you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression!"

Carlos Colorado, the moderator of the group, explained that he was inspired to undertake the project when he was approached on behalf of a Catholic school to supply Romero quotations. "I realized," Colorado said, "that most people familiar with Romero know mostly that he was killed, but he was killed for his preaching, and therefore it is important to know what he preached." The National Catholic Reporter backed that view last year when it quoted a bishop attending a Romero conference as asking, "Can you tell me anywhere else in the world where people are studying the homilies of a bishop who's been dead for 25 years?"

The quotes selected by the Romero group are:

  • 10. "The Church of the Paschal Mystery." (Title of Romero's first
    pastoral letter, said to have influenced the Latin American Church's
    view of its identify and function.

  • 9. "We believe that from the transcendence of the Gospel, we can
    assess what the life of the poor consists of and we also believe that
    placing ourselves on the side of the poor and attempting to give them
    life we will know what the eternal truth of the Gospel consists of."
    (Feburary 1980 speech at Louvaine University, Belgium.)

  • 8. "Do you want to know if your Christianity is genuine? Here is
    the touchstone: Whom do you get along with? Who are those who
    criticize you? who are those who do not accept you? Who are those who
    flatter you?" (November 1977 Sermon.)

  • 7. "We are never ashamed of saying, 'The Church of the
    Poor'." (Christmas Eve 1978 Sermon).

  • 6. "If God accepts the sacrifice of my life, may my death be for
    the freedom of my people ... A bishop will die, but the Church of
    God, which is the people, will never perish." (Interview, a couple
    of weeks before his assassination.

  • 5. "May this Body immolated and this Blood sacrificed for Mankind
    nourish us also, that we may give our body and our blood over to
    suffering and pain, like Christ -- not for Self, but to give harvests
    of peace and justice to our People." (Uttered seconds before a
    gunshot pierced his heart as he prepared to consecrate the Eucharist.

  • 4. "Before an order to kill that a man may give, the law of God
    must prevail that says: Thou shalt not kill! No soldier is obliged to
    obey an order against the law of God." (First of two quotes from
    Romero's last Sunday sermon.

  • 3. "May God have mercy on the assassins." (Last words.)

  • 2. "If they kill me, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people."
    (Second quote from the interview weeks before his death.)

  • 1. "Stop the repression!"


Anonymous said…
I would have voted for: " A mi, me puedan matar, pero la voz de justicia."

Dan Long
Anonymous said…
oops, that should have been: "A mi, me puedan matar, pero no la voz de justicia."
Carlos X. said…
Hi, Dan. One of the reasons we did this was an educational purpose. The phrase you cited is not a true quote. I have seen it misquoted it several times on the net. The actual quote was: "Que quede constancia de que la voz de la justicia nadie la podrá matar ya." (Feb. 24, 1980 sermon.) Ten quotes does not really do justice to a Prophet, so there are many gems that were simply left out from our list. However, there are also many quotes on our list that people might not have been familiar with, and that is what we wanted to create awareness of, so that folks will hopefully take an interest, as you have, and analyzed the quotations, whether to see if they are complete, and just, in the process, get exposed to some top notch Romero quotes.
Milton Ramirez said…
What a gem! Siempre admiré al cura Romero. No estoy segiro si el era partícipe de la Teoria de la Liberacion y me gustaria saberlo. Please, keep up the good work and let us know more about El Salvador.
Anonymous said…
I really like this site and I love the quotes you have chosen, even though they do not sum up the Man which was Archbishop Romero, I do belive that they do him justice.
Again Great site, nice to see an ongoing intrest on the affiars in El Salvador.
P.S. Please could you translate the spanish.It would be a big help to me.
Anonymous said…
I'm actually writing a research paper about him and his connections to liberation theology. although in the beginning he was not a believer of liberation theology (LT), after many life-altering events, his feelings about LT transformed. He is known to be a great follower of LT, actually.
Rubi said…
An excellent article on a simply outstanding prophet. It must have been difficult to choose only 10 quotes. He is San Romero whether or not it is (or ever will be) "an official" title. Oscar Romero and his story has been one of inspiration for me for a long, long time. Thank you for your blog which keeps that which would otherwise be invisible, visible.

Adelante, Amigo.
Tu, tambien, eres Profeta.
Phoenix said…
I would like to thank you for your blog. I am American-Salvadorian, And have not much on My other half. I would like to read more. Like "Business in EL Salvador"
I have plans to create a Business out there but am Yet to come with the founds. Thank you for your time. For your are making a Difference in my life. Jason NYC
Phoenix said…
Further More I will promt. your link.
Jose said…
Hi, I am looking for one of Oscar Romero's quotes in Spanish. I have the quote in English, and in it, Oscar talks about the kingdom of God, how it is beyond our measure, how we are workers and not master builders of a future not our own, etc.
Please email me with the original quote in Spanish and/or where I can find it.
Anonymous said…
So if we are not to go against the commandments
then why are wars fought in gods name?
Anonymous said…
Thank You!

The world needs to hear much more about Oscar Romero who definitly moved in the Rythm of the Saints
Unknown said…
Justice is like a snake; it only bitest the barefooted!

I read the above Archb. Romero quote in Alan Story's Sept 2009 work "An alternative primer on national and international copyright law in the global South: eighteen questions and answers."
Unknown said…
Justice is like a snake; it only bites the barefooted!

I read the above Archb. Romero quote in Alan Story's Sept 2009 work "An alternative primer on national and international copyright law in the global South: eighteen questions and answers."
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Romero is already a saint. No wonder it was no problem to the priest who baptized my son when I said I wanted him baptized Oscar Romero. I am certain Romero continues to live more strongly today. Many church leaders need to emulate his character and deep belief in christian principles. He is a true disciple of Jesus.
Hodad said…
thanks Tim
very nice
muy amable
Monsenor Romero is my hero. Again and again when faced with horrors, he returned to the sacraments, by his life showing and teaching us how to be over comers. How awesome is our God! He took a bookworm curate and by the power of His Spirit transformed him into one of the greatest saints of the 21st century. A year after Monsenor Romero was martyred, I went to a special service in his memory. There they played the audio of the appeal/order that the archbishop gave to the military. It was so powerful, I don't think there was a person in the church that did not have goosebumps upon hearing it.