Revealing Insights Into Life & Death of Archbishop Oscar Romero at Special Cathedral Lecture

Romero's personal items © Jan Graffius, Stonyhurst College, 2015

Fascinating insights into the life and death of Catholic Salvadoran martyr, Archbishop Oscar Romero, will be revealed in a specialist lecture at St Albans Cathedral on Monday 23rd March.

As part of the Cathedral's ‘Dedication 900’ celebrations, marking an important anniversary in the Cathedral’s long history, the Study Centre is offering a series of lectures on the lives of Modern Day Martyrs, in partnership with the Friends of St Albans Abbey.

The first of these talks examines the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero, an outspoken champion of the poor and an icon for the movement of liberation theology, who was murdered in 1980.

In this special lecture Jan Graffius, Curator at Stonyhurst College, will discuss how her work with Stonyhurst’s unique collection of English Catholic relics and artefacts led directly to her involvement in the Romero Trust project to conserve the relics and possessions of Archbishop Romero. Jan's work has also revealed some startling insights into Romero's life and the last few seconds before his death.

Adult Learning Officer, Dr Clare Coombe, said, “We are very excited to be hosting this lecture by Jan Graffius, whose work conserving Oscar Romero’s relics has given her a unique perspective on his life and death. The Modern Martyrs lecture series will also include talks on Saint Elisabeth of Russia and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, given by experts on their lives and work.  Not only are these lectures of historical and theological interest, but they also recognize the continuing witness of our Cathedral community in this significant anniversary year”.

'Blood and Sweat: the Witness of Oscar Romero's Life and Death' takes place on Monday 23rd March at 7:30pm in the Cathedral Crypt. Tickets cost £5 and are available to book by emailing Dr Clare Coombe on or by calling 01727 890205.

For full details on this talk and others in the Modern Martyrs series, click here.


  • This lecture is offered with the option of a pre-lecture dinner at Lussmanns at 6:15pm, followed by the lecture in the Crypt at 7:30pm. Tickets for the dinner and lecture are £18.50.
  • The martyrs featured in the Modern Martyrs series will also be depicted in newly installed statues on the nave screen this year.
  • 'Dedication 900’ celebrates the 900th anniversary of the dedication of the Norman church in 1115. There are a number of events taking place throughout the year to mark this occasion, including children’s trails and exhibitions.
  • For more information about this release contact Kerry Manning on or call 01727 890283

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