A Brief Review of
Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints
Photos by Octavio Duran.
Paperback: Orbis Books, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
Reviewed by Chris Smith
Easter itself is now the cry of victory.
No one can quench the life that Christ has resurrected.
Neither death nor all the banners of death and hatred
raised against Him and against His church can prevail.
He is the victorious one!
Just as He will thrive in an unending Easter,
so we must accompany Him in a Lent and a Holy Week
of cross, sacrifice and martyrdom.
As He said, blessed are they who are not scandalized
by His cross.
— Oscar Romero
So begins this lovely new biography of Oscar Romero, which was released just in time for the 30th anniversary of his assassination. Not only does this book trace the narrative of Romero’s life, it also is chock full of black and white photographs, many of which were taken by Octavio Duran, a Franciscan from El Salvador, who served as Romero’s personal photographer. The photo-record of Romero’s life is the book’s greatest asset, as most of the stories told here can be found elsewhere.
This is a wonderful book, accessible in its format and yet challenging us at every turn with the story of Romero’s faithfulness. Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints is the finest introductory biography of Romero, and I highly recommend it for readers of all ages. Indeed, it is perfect reading for the Easter season, as it embodies for us Romero’s deep faith in the resurrected Christ for whom “Neither death nor all the banners of death and hatred raised against Him and against His church can prevail.”
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com