Malaysians to witness canonisation of Escriva
A group of some 20 Malaysian Catholics attended the canonization of Josemaria Escriva. A Malaysian newspaper, The Sunday Star, published a brief article on the day of the canonization ceremony to commemorate the event.
KUALA LUMPUR: A group of about 20 Malaysians Catholics is attending the canonisation of Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, at Vatican City, which will see a gathering of over 300,000 pilgrims from all over the world today.
Born in Barbastro, Spain in 1902, Escriva was ordained a priest when he was 23. Three years later, he founded Opus Dei (Work of God), which promotes spiritual formation and pastoral care among Catholics.
Pope John Paul II approved the canonisation decree issued by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in respect of a miracle attributed to Escriva - the healing of Dr. Manuel Nevado of chronic radiodermatitis, an incurable disease that affects hands exposed to radiation from X-ray machines, in November 1992.
The congregation's medical committee investigated the cure and unanimously established that it was scientifically inexplicable.
Among those going on the pilgrimage is Vincent Loh from Penang, who said: "Blessed Escriva has shown me that holiness is possible in the midst of everyday activities. No matter how busy we think we are, we can still find time for God if we really want to."
Thomas Poh from Kuala Lumpur said the life and works of Escriva "have had a profound impact on my life and my relationship with God."
"His greatest influence has been on my married life. He wrote a lot about marriage and family. Hence, my wife and I decided that we should take our children with us to Rome to share in the joy together with the hundreds of thousands there," he added.
Said Andrea Nathan from Petaling, Jaya: "The canonisation is an acknowledgement of Escriva's continuous and unconditional self-surrender to the will of God."
Escriva, who travelled all over the world to spread the word of Christ, died in Rome in 1975.
Sunday Star Malaysia, October 6, 2002