On Saturday, the Catholic church beatified Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, who was assassinated in 1980 while celebrating Mass.
San Salvador, El Salvador
As El Salvador gets ready for the archbishop's beatification, the country is in the midst of one of its most violent periods.
The chapel of Divine Providence Hospital in El Salvador is one of the most visited places by local and foreign pilgrims. They come wishing to learn more about Archbishop Oscar Romero, the controversial archbishop who has become a Salvadoran icon.
Vandals have damaged a prominent statue of slain Archbishop Oscar Romero, recently declared a martyr.
The right hand, which had been holding a cross, was cut off the nearly 10-foot monument, located near Plaza El Divino Salvador del Mundo.
Romero "is very much loved by a vast majority of Salvadorans, but he is also one of the most hated by a small minority," Marisa Martinez of the Archbishop Romero Foundation told Catholic News Service.
Archbishop Oscar Romero, now acknowledged by the church as a martyr, has always been so for those who knew him.
"This trip is an opportunity to deeply understand the history of El Salvador, the history of the martyrs and what their legacy was."
A firestorm of protest has greeted the closing of a legal aid office that since the 1980s has helped victims of El Salvador's civil war.
Archbishop’s closing legal aid office and firing staff may stall prosecution of crimes against humanity cases.
The new pope told a monsignor in 2007 that if he were the pope, Oscar Romero's canonization would be a priority.