He recalled how as the sisters were going to embalm Archbishop Romero's body, he told them "please be careful not to drop his insides anywhere, but that they pick them up and bury them, and they did, burying them in front of the little apartment he had in the hospital where he lived."
Three years later, on the occasion St. John Paul II's visit to the country, the nuns of the hospital "made a monument to the Virgin in the same place where we had buried (Romero's) insides."
"When they were digging they ran into the box and the plastic bag where they had placed the insides, and the blood was still liquid and the insides didn't have any bad smell," he revealed.
"I don't want to say that it was a miracle, it's possible that it's a natural phenomenon, but the truth is that this happened, and we told the archbishop at the time (Arturo Rivera y Damas), 'Look monsignor, this has happened,' and he said 'Be quiet, don't tell anyone because they are going to say that they are our inventions,'" he said.
However, "Pope John Paul II was given a small canister with Archbishop Romero's blood," he noted.
Msgr. Urioste recalled that when John Paul II arrived to San Salvador, the first thing he did "was go to the cathedral without telling anyone. The cathedral was closed, they had to go and look for someone to open it so that the Pope could enter and kneel before the tomb of Archbishop Romero."
John Paul II asked during his visit that no one manipulate the memory of Archbishop Romero, Msgr. Urioste recalled, and lamented how "they politicized him."
"The left had politicized him, putting him as their banner. And the right politicized him, saying things that are untrue about the bishop, that are purely false, they denigrated him."
One of the things that the Church in El Salvador wants, Msgr. Urioste said, is that "the figure of the archbishop, known now a little more than he was before, is a cause for reflection, a motive for peace, a motive for forgiveness, a motive for reconciliation with one another, and that we all have more patience to renew ourselves and follow the paths that Archbishop Romero proposed to us."
"I think that (Romero's) figure is going to contribute a lot to a better meeting and reconciliation in El Salvador," he said.
What Archbishop Romero really thought about Liberation Theology
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Despite the many accusations leveled against the archbishop of San Salvador, his Vicar General said that Romero "never had a Marxist thought or Marxist ideology in his mind."
"If there had been, the Vatican, which has studied so much, would not have beatified him, if they had found that he had Marxist interests."
The real backbone of his closeness to the poor, he said, was the Gospel and the teaching of the Church.
"He was a servant of the Gospel, he never read anything from Liberation Theology, but he read the Bible."
Msgr. Urioste noted that the archbishop's library, "had all these books from the early Fathers of the Church, from the current Magisterium of the Church, but (he) never even opened any of the books from Liberation Theology, or Gustavo Gutiérrez, or of anyone else."
"He read the Bible and there he encountered a Jesus in love with the poor and in this way started walking toward him," he said.