Josemaria Escriva. Founder of Opus Dei - Opus Dei founder St Josemaria Escriva, his life day by day, teachings on holiness, apostolate, laity, Catholic Church. Testimonies from Opus Dei members <![CDATA[I'm called to be a saint]]> Video. In this clip from Passionately Loving the World, Chris Blunt talks about the profound effect that St. Josemaria's teachings have had on his faith. "I am called to be a saint. And the way that I do that is through my ordinary work. Nobody had ever told me that before."

He is open and honest about the very real ways St. Josemaria's spirituality helps him find meaning in his life. "I don't think being a husband or being a father comes naturally to most men." Chris will even tell you that he is "not the best husband"—that is, if his wife doesn't tell you first!

The teachings of St. Josemaria opened Chris' eyes to see the gift of marriage and fatherhood as a true vocation. "It's the way God wants me to live my life." He aptly describes it as a "head grab and a heart grab."

Moved by St. Josemaria's description of God as "a great stone cutter," Chris sees our daily challenges as the hammer and chisel that God uses to shape us into the more generous, attentive, and loving people He wants us to be. "God sees the perfect image underneath the block of granite."

Read more.]]>
<![CDATA[St Josemaría arrived in Rome for the first time on June 23, 1946]]> On June 23, 1946 the founder of Opus Dei arrived in Rome to expedite pontifical approval of Opus Dei. This approval would enable Opus Dei, which was universal from the very start, to spread its apostolate to different countries. Pilar Urbano wrote an account of the journey after interviewing the people concerned.

A record in photographs of St Josemaría's journey to Italy

On the port side of the J. J. Sister, Father Josemaria Escriva and a very young Law professor, José Orlandis, a member of Opus Dei, were leaning on the rails breathing in the sea air. They looked at each other and smiled. One of the passengers nearby commented, “After the storm comes the calm.” The platitude described the situation perfectly. They had just been through twenty hours of terrible storm; the little mail steamship had been buffeted by a violent gale which blew from the Gulf of Lyon. The J. J. Sister, notorious for pitching and tossing, kept its course despite wind and tide, although the dining-room china and glassware were shattered, the waves swept the deck, and the furniture slid up and down. All the passengers and the crew, from the captain to the cabin boy were seasick. At the height of the storm Father Escriva quipped, “Do you know what? If we go down and get eaten by fish... Perico Casciaro will never eat fish again as long as he lives!” 1 .

It was 5 p.m. on a warm day, Saturday 22nd June 1946. The sun beat down, but the breeze on the high seas made being on deck very pleasant. The J. J. Sister was sailing eastwards from Barcelona to Genoa.

Three years earlier Alvaro del Portillo, another young member of Opus Dei, had travelled the same route, but by air, while the war was still raging. Del Portillo was unperturbed. “I was quite sure nothing would happen. I was carrying all the papers.” 2. He had with him all the documents which he was to present to the Holy See to obtain the nihil obstat, the green light for setting up Opus Dei, or the Work, in different dioceses. At the time Opus Dei had just one limited approval: a kind of pass granted by Monsignor Eijo y Garay, Bishop of Madrid-Alcalá, to allow it to develop within the limits of a “Pious Union”. From every point of view this was insufficient for the universal scope which its nature demanded.

Later on Father Escriva would write: “Both to the world and to the Church the Work seemed a great novelty. The canonical solution that I was seeking seemed impossible to attain. But, my daughters and sons, I could not wait for things to be possible. A high-ranking member of the Roman Curia told us, ‘You have come a century too soon’. Nevertheless we had to attempt the impossible. I was urged on by the thought of the thousands of souls who had dedicated themselves to God in the Work, with full commitment, in order to do apostolate in the middle of the world” 3.

At the gates of the Vatican
The gates of the Vatican were shut, not because the caller had come too late but because he had come too early. The works of God, however, cannot just sit back and wait. Father Alvaro del Portillo had mailed a letter to Father Escriva, but he distrusted the chaotic post-war postal service, and so he gave another to a Spanish diplomat who was returning to Madrid, to be delivered by hand. “I can’t do any more. It’s your turn now.”4 And even though he knew that Father Escriva was suffering from severe diabetes, he said that he considered it necessary for him to come to Rome.

“I won’t be answerable for your life”
As soon as Father Escriva received Father del Portillo’s two letters, he called a meeting of the General Council of the Work at a Centre of Opus Dei in Villanueva Street in Madrid. He read the letters to them, and told them bluntly that his doctors had reacted unfavourably to the idea of his making such a trip; Doctor Rof Carballo had told him, “I won’t be answerable for your life.”

The people who made up the governing body of the Work were young men, but they had the maturity which comes from living an interior life. Against their personal feelings, they gave priority to the demands of a mission which was greater than all of them. They agreed unhesitatingly to what they felt Father Escriva wanted to do, and encouraged him to set sail as soon as possible.

“Thank you,” he responded. “But I would have gone anyway: what has to be done, has to be done.” 5

This took place on Monday 17th June 1946. The tickets and visas were arranged within a few hours. On Wednesday 19th June, at 3.30 p.m. Father Escriva left Madrid for Saragossa by road. From there he went on to Barcelona to embark on the J. J. Sister to Genoa, Italy. The last stage of his long journey to Rome was made by road again. Nowadays one can do the trip in one short flight from Barajas Airport in Madrid to Fiumicino Airport in Rome; but in those days, with the Second World War just over, there were no commercial flights between Spain and Italy, the French border was closed, and so there was no option.

“Will I turn out to be a fraud?”
Father Escriva broke his journey at three shrines dedicated to the Mother of God. The first was at the shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar in Saragossa. Then they made a detour to Montserrat. The last stop was in Barcelona, to visit the shrine of Our Lady of Ransom. These were visits from a son who sought from his mother, whom he called “all-powerful in her petition”, all the recommendations, the strength and the guidance he was going to need.

In Barcelona, early in the morning of Friday 21st June, Father Escriva met a small group of his sons in the oratory of an apartment in Muntaner Street. They did their prayer together. With his eyes fixed on the tabernacle, Father Escriva appealed to our Lord in words Christ had heard before: “Ecce nos reliquimus omnia, et secuti sumus te: quid ergo erit nobis? Here we are, having left everything to follow you: What is to become of us?” 6

It was word for word the same question as St. Peter had asked two thousand years before, acting as spokesman for the misgivings and anxieties of the Twelve. With the confidence born of long-standing love, capable of facing up to God on friendly, even familiar terms, Father Escriva continued in a hushed, impassioned voice, sincerely and confidentially. “Lord, have you allowed me, in good faith, to deceive so many souls? I’ve done everything for your glory, knowing it is your Holy Will! Is it possible that the Holy See can say that we have come a century too soon? Ecce nos reliquimus omnia, et secuti sumus te! I’ve never wished to deceive anyone. I’ve only wanted to serve you. Will I turn out to be a fraud?” 7His words were a plea, a last resort, uttered almost on the verge of tears by one whose only foothold on earth was heaven.

The J. J. Sister anchored in the port of Genoa very late in the night of 22nd June. Father Alvaro del Portillo and Salvador Canals were waiting, walking up and down the quayside. Father Escriva greeted each of them with a big hug. Then, looking at Father del Portillo over the rim of his glasses, he addressed him in typical good humour: “Rascal! Here I am! You got your own way!”8

By the time they got to the hotel it was so late that there was no service either in the dining room or in the bedrooms. All Father Escriva had had since leaving Barcelona thirty-two hours earlier was a coffee and some biscuits. Father del Portillo had kept a small piece of Parmesan cheese from his dinner, thinking that Father Escriva would like it. It was the only thing he had to eat that night.

1. Testimony of Father José Orlandis (AGP, RHF T-00184)
2. AGP, RHF 21165, p. 177
3. Letter, 25 January 1961, 19
4. AGP, RHF 21165, pp. 985-986.
5. Ibid.
6. Matt 19:27
7. AGP, RHF 21164, pp.1324-1324
8. Ibid, 1409

Extract from Chapter 2 of El Hombre de Villa Tevere: los años romanos de Josemaría Escrivá, Pilar Urbano, published by Plaza y Janes, Barcelona, 1995]]>
<![CDATA[2nd Joyful Mystery: The Visitation]]> Gospel of St. Luke
Now in those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town of Juda. And she entered the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe in her womb leapt. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who has believed, because the things promised her by the Lord shall be accomplished.”
(Luke 1:39-45)

Keep Mary Company
By now, my little friend, you have no doubt learned to get along by yourself. —Joyfully keep Joseph and Mary company... and you will hear the traditions of the House of David:
You will hear of Elizabeth and Zachary, you will be moved by Joseph’s pure love, and your heart will pound whenever there is mention of the Child who will be born in Bethlehem...
We walk in haste towards the mountains, to a town of the tribe of Judah (Luke 1:39).
We arrive. —It is the house where John the Baptist is to be born. —Elizabeth gratefully hails the Mother of her Redeemer: Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! —How have I deserved to be thus visited by the Mother of my Lord? (Luke 1:42-43)
The unborn Baptist quivers... (Luke 1:41) —Mary's humility pours forth in the Magnificat... —And you and I, who are proud —who were proud—, promise to be humble.
Holy Rosary, 2

“Blessed are you for believing”, said Elizabeth to our Mother. Union with God, supernatural virtue, always brings with it the attractive practice of human virtues: Mary brought joy to her cousin's home, because she brought Christ.
Furrow, 566

Turn your eyes towards the Blessed Virgin and see how she practises the virtue of loyalty. When Elizabeth needs her, the Gospel says that she went cum festinatione, — joyfully making haste. Learn from her!
Furrow, 371

She teaches us to have faith
She teaches us to have faith. 'Blessed art thou for thy believing,' were the words of greeting uttered by her cousin Elizabeth when Our Lady went up into the hill country to visit her. Mary's act of faith had been a wonderful one, 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.'
Friends of God, 284

It is a peace that comes from knowing that our Father God loves us, and that we are made one with Christ. It results from being under the protection of the Virgin, our Lady, and assisted by St Joseph. This is the great light that illuminates our lives. In the midst of difficulties and of our own personal failings, it encourages us to keep up our effort. Every christian home should be a place of peace and serenity. In spite of the small frustrations of daily life, an atmosphere of profound and sincere affection should reign there together with a deep-rooted calm, which is the result of authentic faith that is put into practice.
Christ is Passing By, 22]]>
<![CDATA[14 Questions about the Family]]> Answers offered by St Josemaria to questions about love in the family, family conflicts, parent-child relationships, raising children, and faith in the family. ]]> <![CDATA[Mercy, Pity and Piety]]> The Pope is holding some special audiences for the Year of Mercy. On May 14 he recalled that “True piety is a sign of God’s mercy and one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, which the Lord gives to his disciples so that they may be docile and follow his divine inspirations.”]]> <![CDATA[God’s Mercy]]> How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy]]> <![CDATA[Novena for forgiveness]]> Written by Fr Francisco Faus, is available in pdf, epub and Kindle formats, in which, while meditating on texts by St Josemaria, we ask God through his intercession for the grace of learning to forgive.]]> <![CDATA[To pay off a loan]]> I prayed insistently to St Josemaria to get a job so I could pay off a loan that I took out to support my daughter’s studies. I have now paid off most of the loan. I hope that St Josemaria will keep helping me till it is all paid off. ]]> <![CDATA[Renegotiating the contract]]> Since 2008 I have worked full-time for a high tec company providing communications services, technical field services, communications networks etc. to other companies. My assigned client from 2008 onwards was a well-known international pharmaceutics firm. In 2013 this firm started a process to renegotiate their contract with my company. The process took about two years, and in the end, the pharmaceutics firm decided to end the contract with us and contract a different company, for economic reasons. There were two of us engineers assigned to this firm, and as soon as we heard the news we were seriously worried and contacted our area manager to ask what would happen to our jobs. He said he had heard about the termination of the contract, and suggested we should start looking for work as soon as possible. I told my mother what had happened. She is a practising Catholic with a lot of devotion to St. Josemaria Escriva, and she talked to me about him, showed me his books, and gave me a copy of the novena to St. Josemaria, asking me to pray it with great faith, as he had never let her down. I began praying the novena and finding out more about St. Josemaria’s life. I remember with great joy how, on a Saturday, when we don’t work, which was the eighth day of my novena, my wife and I were at home and I got a call from my line manager. She had just been told that our company had decided to make the other engineer redundant but I would be retained and assigned to other clients. As at the time of writing, I am still working for the same company, very happy and grateful for this opportunity to continue to serve.]]> <![CDATA[Inspired to Love]]> This documentary tells the story of St Josemaria, the “saint of the ordinary” and the founder of Opus Dei, and how his message has inspired people of all walks of life to find meaning in their everyday activities, seeing them as a way of serving others.]]> <![CDATA[1944.6.25]]> Ordination of the first three priests of Opus Dei – Alvaro del Portillo, Jose Luis Muzquiz and Jose Maria Hernandez Garnica. That day St Josemaria [...]]]> <![CDATA[How can we live if we arent in love?]]> Without love, life wouldnt be worth living. Therefore St. Josemaría counseled: Fall madly in love, both when our love is in heaven and when its on earth.]]> <![CDATA[St Josemaria Official Twitter Account]]> Tweets by @St_Josemaria !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");]]> <![CDATA[Pope Francis invites refugees to sit with him at the general audience]]> Video. (Rome Reports).Pope Francis moved refugees to the center of his preaching, when he made this group sit next to him during the weekly general audience. He preached about one of the miracles of Christ. It was the healing of a leper who approaches Jesus, despite the social norms of the time which excluded them. At the same, Pope Francis said, this happens today with other groups of people.]]>