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The cave of Massabielle, setting for a relic

A piece of France in the heart of San Salvador. Thousands of kilometers from the Pyrenees, a replica of the grotto of Massabielle, where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, has been built in the garden adjoining the house of Bishop Oscar Romero.

In this place, a few centimeters underground, rests the heart of the holy archbishop who was assassinated in 1980. As explained by Mother Lucita, superior of the community at the time of Archbishop Romero’s death, in a work in Spanish containing the testimonies of relatives of the saint, the vital organ was placed there the day after his death. As the body has just been autopsied, the question arises of the future of his heart. Without hesitation, mother Lucita won it at thehospitalito. “We felt we were the people closest to him and we all believed he would grant our requests,” she says in this book published in 2011.

The heart is thus buried somewhat summarily in the garden, near a white rose. In 1983, a trip by John Paul II was announced to El Salvador. A visit tohospitalito being scheduled, the nuns decided to rearrange the place and then had a replica of the grotto of Lourdes built.

At the feet of the Virgin, a small cavity is dug, to place the relic there. According to the testimony of Mother Lucita, the heart was, three years after having stopped beating, still incorrupt. “The color was as if he had just had surgery, he even looked pink,” she remembers.

More than forty years after the assassination of Bishop Romero, the nuns are still as attached to “their” relic. “His body has already changed burial three times, laments Sister Rubi Lemus.But his heart is still here, we wouldn’t accept him leaving us. »


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