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Heavy metal band honors Blessed Oscar Romero with unexpected surprise

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Iron Maiden pays respect to martyred archbishop

British heavy metal rock band, Iron Maiden surprised their audience of 9,000 people during a concert in El Salvador's capital by paying respect to Blessed Oscar Romero.


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The band's drummer Nicko McBrain set off a roar of applause from the crowd when he revealed his black t-shirt displayed an image of the murdered Salvadorian priest with the slogan, "Saint Romero of the Americas," according to the Catholic Herald.

"It was a top-class show that made us forget for a moment all the problems we have," expressed Ricardo Chavarra, a 45-year-old father who attended the show with his son, to AFP. The audience included fans from not only El Salvador, but also the other parts of the "dangerous and feared" Northern Triangle of Central America, Guatemala and the Honduras.

Prior to the inspirational dedication, McBrain and the band's guitarist Janick Gers made a stop at Blessed Romero's tomb in the Crypt of San Salvador Metropolitan Cathedral. The archbishop was assassinated during Mass on March 24, 1980, right at the start and height of El Salvador's deadly civil war. Many believed he was killed for speaking "out against injustice and the reigning junta's repression," according to AFP.

Blessed Oscar Romero was declared a martyr and beatified by Pope Francis on May 23, 2015.

Iron Maiden's stop at San Salvador's Estadio Jorge Magico Gonzalez was just one part of their current tour promoting their newest album, "The Book of Souls." The band's next stop will be in Region Metropolitana, Chile on Friday, March 11.

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