Yesterday was a good day. We ate breakfast and then headed to Boqueron where we took a trail up to a giant volcano crater. Tromping through tropical green vegetation and trees where the air feels pure almost makes exercise enjoyable. The view was incredible. The world continues to impress me. In El Salvador it is even kind of showing off.
Afterward we went to the church where Oscar Romero was assassinated. We were with Choco, Chacón and Alan. The collective knowledge of the three of them about El Salvador, history and Romero was remarkable. We talked for a while in front of the church and then we went to visit where he had lived. He lived in a simple little home across the street from the church. We went to the home and a nun in her 70’s, who was from Honduras and maybe 4.5 feet tall, gave us a tour. She told us after his murder, his heart was given to the nuns and buried in the front years of the home. Years later it needed to be dug up and she recounted how a miracle occurred and the heart had not decayed, which was interesting to me because a miracle is one of the requirements for someone to become a saint. I enjoyed talking with the nun. She was sweet and had lived a very interesting and international life. We had interrupted her studying English when we arrived. After visiting with her we briefly visited the church. I was glad I had shown the movie about Romero recently to a group of students in Mexico. It was strange to be, a couple of months later, standing where those events had taken place.
We then headed downtown to the cathedral where Romero’s body was interred. A person working there told us to notice the difference between that location and the cathedral above us. It was sparse. Few decorations, flowers or information signs while upstairs was ornate and decorated. It was explained to us that this was due to the political differences that still remain within the church. Romero remains controversial to many. An odd argument I have heard hear for why he should not be admired is that he went against the police and that rather than focusing on serving the church he focused on serving the people. That seems crazy to me because Jesus said, “In as much as you have done it unto the least of these my breathren, you have done it unto me” and “Love one another, as I have loved thee.” To me, serving the people would seem to be the same as serving God.
We just came back from seeing "La Hora Final" about the assassination of six Jesuit priests (as well as their housekeeper and her 15 year-old daughter). Ignacio martin Baro (the founder of liberation psychology being one of them).