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Oscar Romero memorial planned for St George’s Cathedral

A 4-metre cross and reliquary in honour of Oscar Romero, the Latin American archbishop who was assassinated as he celebrated Mass in 1980, is to be installed at St George's Cathedral in Southwark.

Oscar Romero memorial planned for St George’s Cathedral

Archbishop Romero – who was assassinated during Mass in El Salvador 33 years ago – is considered by many to be a modern martyr and could eventually be canonised.

Work began a few weeks ago to create the new Romero Space at St George's Cathedral. It will be dedicated by the Archbishop of Southwark at an ecumenical service on Thursday 19 September.

The reliquary, in the form of a three-dimensional painted Salvadoran cross containing a fragment of Archbishop Romero's blood-stained alb and his skullcap, will be installed, was dispatched from El Salvador last month and is on its way to Southwark.

Commissioned by the Archbishop Romero Trust specially for St George's, the faces of the cross were designed by the renowned Salvadoran artist Fernando Llort.

Alongside a bust of Oscar Romero, the cross will stand inside the cathedral between the St Joseph and the St Patrick chapels.

The Romero Space will also serve as a memorial to Bishop Michael Evans, a Southwark priest who went on to serve as Bishop of East Anglia.

Bishop Evans, who died two years ago, had a special devotion to Oscar Romero.

Catholic aid charity CAFOD – whose headquarters building in Westminster Bridge Road is known as Romero House – has contributed to the cost of the memorial.

Participants in the ecumenical service of dedication will include Very Revd John Hall, Dean of Westminster.

Monsignor Ricardo Urioste, the 88-year-old former secretary to Archbishop Romero, plans to travel from San Salvador for the occasion and will give the homily.

• Four years ago the cathedral unveiled a shrine to St Frances Cabrini, patron saint of migrants.

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