This final volume of the series contains the 19 homilies that Archbishop Romero delivered between December 9, 1979, and March 24, 1980, the day on which he was murdered while celebrating the Eucharist. It was a time of mounting violence and near anarchy in El Salvador. As the military rulers and their right-wing death squads strove to repress both the strengthening guerrilla forces and the surging grassroots organizations, Romero warned the nation repeatedly in his preaching about the danger of civil war. Drawing on the scriptural themes of Advent and Christmas, Romero endeavored to keep the people's hopes alive amidst the chaos, but he never relented in his condemnation of the cruelty and inhumanity of those who used violence to impose their will. In his homilies he summoned all Salvadorans to radical conversion: the army generals, the wealthy oligarchs, the inept politicians, the guerrilla commandos, the union leaders, and ordinary citizens themselves, who were those suffering the worst of the repression. He even appealed to President Carter to stop financing his nation's plunge into self-destruction.
As the violence and lawlessness intensified, Romero's words to his people became increasingly prophetic. Though he realized that many wanted to silence his voice, he continued to preach with irrepressible boldness. In an act of great daring, he directly addressed the government soldiers: "I beg you, I beseech you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression!" The next day a shot rang out in the chapel where he was offering Mass. The prophet was killed, but his spirit rose up in his people.
A Prophetic Bishop Speaks to His People by Oscar Arnulfo Romero was published by Convivium Press in February 2017. The ISBN for A Prophetic Bishop Speaks to His People is 9781934996669.