‘Rutilio Grande and Óscar Romero’ (2018)

The Great Amen PB and photo CR

My painting of two 20th century martyrs from El Salvador – Rutilio Grande S.J. and Archbishop Óscar Romero – commissioned by the Archbishop Romero Trust for permanent display in St Ignatius Church, Stamford Hill.

In 1977, Rutilio Grande was assassinated by security forces outside the village where he was born, suffering martyrdom for the poor agricultural campesinos he defended. His killing had a profound effect on conservative Archbishop Óscar Romero, who began to speak out against poverty, social injustice, killings and torture. In 1980, following a radio broadcast in which he urged government death squads to disobey orders, Romero was gunned down while offering Mass in the chapel of a cancer hospital. At his funeral, security forces fired into the crowd, killing scores of mourners.

Romero will be canonised on 14 October. Grande’s beatification is imminent.

Acrylic on linen. 48 x 36 inches. 122 x 92 cm.