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Relic of Archbishop Romero presented to pope

Rome (CathNews): Pope Francis received a bloodstained relic of slain Archbishop Oscar Romero, from San Salvador, as a gift from El Salvador’s president, Mauricio Funes Cartagena, according to a report in The Catholic Herald.

The president told the media before his May 23 meeting with the pope that the aim of his visit to the Vatican was to express his gratitude that the archbishop’s canonisation process had been unblocked and to encourage the sainthood process moving forward.

Funes presented Pope Francis with a large gilded reliquary containing a faded white, bloodstained piece of the vestment Archbishop Romero of was wearing when he was gunned down on 24 March 1980, while celebrating Mass in a hospital chapel.

The Vatican said in a statement that Pope Francis and Funes talked about Archbishop Romero and “the importance of his witness for the whole nation” of El Salvador. The two leaders also talked about the Church’s work in fostering peace and reconciliation, providing education and charity, and in fighting poverty and organised crime.


The two met outside the papal library before meeting privately for 12 minutes, followed by an exchange of gifts. Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson, told reporters that there was clearly a bloodstain in the middle of the cloth.

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