Spotlight on: Oscar

The scene in the movie “Romero” where the soldiers are shooting up the tabernacle and Archbishop Oscar Romero was risking his life to save the hosts — to literally and freely take the risk of dying for Jesus — was one of the single most moving things I have ever seen — I saw it once in high school and once in college and that scene has stayed with ever since. He was eventually killed while saying Mass “in El Salvador in 1980 by Right-wing death squads. His murder came a day after he had said in a homily that soldiers should obey God’s commands and put down their guns.” (From “Archbishop Oscar Romero was a martyr, declare Vatican Theologians.”)

“Archbishop Romero’s Cause was opened at the Vatican two decades ago but was delayed for years as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith studied his writings, amid debate over whether he had been killed for his faith or for political reasons.” But now it has been ruled that “Archbishop Oscar Romero was murdered “in hatred of the faith”” — that he was indeed a martyr — and even that the Archbishop “will “almost certainly” be beatified in 2015, and that Francis may skip the beatification and canonise him in San Salvador.”

So: Oscar. It’s one of those names I want to like. It always shows up in lists of names that are similar to names I like. Like … Leo. And Victor. And Hugo, Rosa, and Milo. (All this according to the Baby Name Wizard book.) And it’s got great Irish connections, which is always appeals to my overwhelmingly green heritage — Oscar was the grandson of Fionn mac Cumhail (Finn McCool). It’s somewhat popular in the Scandinavian countries, which is a large part of my husband’s heritage, so that’s appealing as well.

But there’s Oscar the Grouch and Oscar Meyer bologna and (good heavens) Oscar Pistorius. It’s just not a name I could get on board with … until now? Here’s betting a Blessed or Saint Oscar Romero will make the name jump up and dance all over the baby name stats. Oz or Ozzie are cute nicknames for a little guy (Ozzie Osbourne notwithstanding), or even Scar, I suppose, for the edgier among us, and I could see a grown-up Oscar being an athlete (Oscar de la Hoya) or a poet (Oscar Wilde).

What do you think of Oscar? Can you think of other nicknames for it? Do you know any little or big Oscars? What do they think of their name?


9 thoughts on “Spotlight on: Oscar

  1. I really like Oscar! My husband and I are both pretty Scandinavian, so I love its slightly Nordic flavor. Unfortunately we also have a Nordic surname that happens to also begin with O…and while I am generally positive on alliteration for folks with names that begin with consonants, the double O is rather too dramatic for me. The connection to Oscar Romero could sway me, though. What a heroic man.


  2. We have a cat named Oscar soooo… haha. Oliver sounds more like it belongs on a human to me. But yes, it 1) does belong to some rather great name lists style-wise and 2) a Saint and martyr could give the name a new image!


  3. This is 100% what made me decide Oscar was usable, and I just completely forgot about it — apparently you’re just inside my brain now! At least I didn’t previously comment and forget! I am now even remembering my thought process… which was, Bl/Bp Romero, Irish, brother to Leo, yes yes yes. Thanks for pointing me back over here!


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