The sanctification ceremony also included five other lesser-known people. Both Romero, who was shot by a right-wing death squad while saying Mass in 1980, and Paul, who guided the Church through the conclusion of the modernizing 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, were contested figures within and without the Church. impoverished Central American country of El Salvador. Romero’s murder was one of the most shocking in the long conflict between a series of U.S.-backed governments and leftist rebels. He consistently denounced violence by the Salvadoran military and paramilitary against civilians and urged the international community to stop the oppression.
Romero became an icon for Latin America’s poor. “His martyrdom continued (even after his death). He was defamed, slandered … even by his own brothers in the priesthood and the episcopate, Francis said in 2015. He was hit by “the hardest stone that exists in the world: the tongue.” Pope Paul VI guided the Church through the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, which had started under his predecessor, and the implementation of its reforms. Paul also became the first pope in modern times to travel outside Italy to see faithful. Paul is the third pope that Francis has made a saint since his election in 2013, after John XXIII, who died in 1963, and John Paul, who died in 2005.