Pablo VI and Monsignor Óscar Romero will be canonized soon

Ⓒ AFP/Archivos – Marvin Recinos – | Catholic faithful demand justice on the 37th anniversary of the murder of Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero on March 24, 2017 in San Salvador

Pope Francis signed the decrees that allow the early canonization of Pope Paul VI (1963-1978) and Salvadoran archbishop Óscar Romero, a defender of the poor murdered in 1980, the Vatican announced Wednesday.

The decrees signed on Tuesday recognize miracles attributed to the intercession of Paul VI and Monsignor Romero, the last stage before being raised to the altars.

The Italian pope was beatified in October 2014 and the Salvadoran archbishop in May 2015.

Born in 1917 and described as a simple man and close to the people, Oscar Romero, hated by the conservative media of El Salvador, was killed on March 24, 1980 while officiating mass.

His murder had a great impact in Latin America, where the figure Romero became a legend.

The murder of Romero marked the beginning of a painful civil war in his country that lasted until 1992 and left 75,000 dead and at least 7,000 missing.

The conservative media of El Salvador blocked for a long time any official manifestation of the Church towards the archbishop of the poor.

However, in May 2015, two years after his election, Pope Francis recognized in San Salvador, before more than 200,000 faithful, the status of “martyr” of Romero and opened the way to his beatification.

The date of canonization of Monsignor Romero was not specified, but Cardinal Pietro Parolin, number two of the Vatican, announced a few days ago that Paul VI will take place during the closing of the synod dedicated to young people in October at the Vatican.

Paul VI, whose name was Giovanni Battista Montini, was born in 1897.

According to Vatican Insider, the miracle that allows the canonization of Paul VI concerns a girl born very prematurely on December 25, 2014, despite the fact that doctors had advised a therapeutic abortion.

Pablo VI had received numerous criticisms in 1968 for having pronounced against the contraceptive pill.

Pope Francis has already canonized John XXIII (1958-1963) and John Paul II (1978-2005). And the process for the beatification of John Paul I, who died 33 days after his election in 1978, is ongoing.

In February, when referring to the beatifications, Pope Francis joked that he and his predecessor, Benedict XVI, were on the “waiting list”.

A canonization constitutes the official declaration that a deceased person is in paradise.

For this, the future saint must have performed two miracles, one for beatification (unless he is a martyr) and another for canonization, proof of his closeness to God.

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