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[The secret of married happiness]]> Children and family life
When I think of Christian homes, I like to imagine them as being full of the light and joy that were in the home of the Holy Family. The message of Christmas is heard in all its forcefulness: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will” (Lk 11:14). ”And may the peace of Christ triumph in your hearts” (Col 3:15), writes the Apostle. 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

Influencing society
Take the case of a large family. The mother’s work is comparable to that of professional teachers and in many cases leaves them in the shade. A teacher manages to educate a number of boys and girls more or less successfully in the course of his or her life. A mother can give her children a solid set of values and shape their character, and can make them, in their turn, other teachers, thus setting up an uninterrupted chain of responsibility and virtue.
In these matters it is easy to be misled by mere numbers and to think that the work of a teacher, who sees hundreds of people pass through his or her classes, or that of a writer who reaches thousands of readers, is more valuable. That is all very well, but how many people are really formed by that teacher or writer? A mother has three, five, ten or more children in her care and she can make of them a true work of art, a marvel of education, of balance and understanding, a model of the Christian way of life. She can teach them to be happy and to make themselves really useful to those around them.
Conversations, 89

Children and generosity
I shall never tire of repeating that marriage is a great and marvellous divine path. Like everything divine in us, it calls for response to grace, generosity, dedication and service. Selfishness, in whatever shape or form, is opposed to the love of God which ought to govern our lives. This is a fundamental point which one must always bear in mind with regard to marriage and the number of children.
Conversations, 93

Integrity and honesty in married life
The number is not in itself the decisive factor. The fact of having few or many children does not on its own make a family more or less Christian. What matters is the integrity and honesty with which married life is lived.
Conversations, 94

Family life, the material to be sanctified
Husband and wife are called to sanctify their married life and to sanctify themselves in it. It would be a serious mistake if they were to exclude family life from their spiritual development. The marriage union, care and education of children, the effort to provide for the needs of the family as well as for its security and development, relationships with other people who make up the community, all these are among the ordinary human situations that Christian couples are called upon to sanctify.
Christ is Passing By, 23

The joy of the home
But they mustn’t forget that the secret of married happiness lies in everyday things, not in daydreams. It lies in finding the hidden joy of coming home in the evening, in affectionate relations with their children, in the everyday work in which the whole family cooperates; in good humour in the face of difficulties that should be met with a sporting spirit; in making the best use of all the advantages that civilisation offers to help us rear children, to make the house pleasant and life more simple.
Conversations, 91

Living with others
Bring out your spirit of mortification in those nice touches of charity, eager to make the way of sanctity in the midst of the world attractive for everyone. Sometimes a smile can be the best proof of a spirit of penance.
The Forge, 149

May you know how to put yourself out cheerfully, discreetly and generously each day, serving others and making their lives more pleasant.
To act in this way is to practise the true charity of Jesus Christ.
The Forge, 150

You should make sure that wherever you are there is that good humour — that cheerfulness — which is born of an interior life.
The Forge, 151

Make sure you practise this very interesting mortification: that of not making your conversation revolve around yourself.
The Forge, 152

Freedom and responsibility
Parents can, and should, be a great help to their children. They can open new horizons for them, share their experiences and make them reflect, so they do not allow themselves to be carried away by passing emotional experiences. They can offer them a realistic scale of value. Sometimes they can help with personal advice; on other occasions they should encourage their children to seek other suitable people such as a loyal and sincere friend, a learned and holy priest or an expert in career guidance.
Advice does not take away freedom. It gives elements on which to judge and thus enlarges the possibilities of choice and ensures that decisions are not taken on the basis of irrational factors. After hearing the opinions of others and taking everything into consideration, there comes a moment in which a choice has to be made and then no one has the right to force a young person’s freedom.
Parents have to be on guard against the temptation of wanting to project themselves unduly on their children or of moulding them according to their own preferences. They should respect their individual God-given inclinations and aptitudes. If their love is true, this is easy enough. Even in the extreme case, when a young person makes a decision that the parents have good reason to consider mistaken and when they think it will lead to future unhappiness, the answer lies not in force, but in understanding. Very often it consists in knowing how to stand by their child so as to help him overcome the difficulties and, if necessary, draw all the benefit possible from an unfortunate situation.
Conversations, 104

Becoming your children’s friends
The parents are the first people responsible for the education of their children, in human as well as in spiritual matters. They should be conscious of the extent of their responsibility. To fulfil it, they need prudence, understanding, a capacity to love and a concern for giving good example. Imposing things by force, in an authoritarian manner, is not the right way to teach. The ideal attitude of parents lies more in becoming their children’s friends — friends who will be willing to share their anxieties, who will listen to their problems, who will help them in an effective and agreeable way.
Christ is Passing By, 27

What it means to raise children
When I praise large families, I do not refer to those which are the result of mere physiological relations. I refer to families founded on the practice of human virtues, which have a high regard for personal dignity and know that giving children to God consists not only of engendering their natural life but also undertaking the lengthy task of their upbringing. Giving of life comes first, but it is not everything.
Conversations, 94

The generation gap
The problem is an old one, although perhaps it arises now more frequently or more acutely because of the rapid evolution that characterises modern society. It is perfectly understandable and natural that young and older people should see things differently. This has always been the case. The surprising thing would be if a teenager were to think just as an adult does. We all felt a tendency to rebel against our elders when we began to form our own judgement autonomously. But we have come to understand, with the passing of the years, that our parents were right in many things in which they were guided by their experience and their love. That is why it is up to the parents to make the first move. They have already passed through this stage. It is up to them to be very understanding, to have flexibility and good humour, avoiding any possible conflicts simply by being affectionate and farsighted.
Conversations, 100

It is a question of trust. Parents should bring up their children in an atmosphere of friendship, never giving the impression that they do not trust them. They should give them freedom and teach them how to use it with personal responsibility. It is better for parents to let themselves ‘be fooled’ once in a while, because the trust that they have shown will make the children themselves feel ashamed of having abused it — they will correct themselves. On the other hand, if they have no freedom, if they see that no one trusts them, they will always be inclined to deceive their parents.
Conversations, 100

Communicating piety to your children
Experience shows in all Christian environments what good effects come from this natural and supernatural introduction to the life of piety given in the warmth of the home. Children learn to place God first and foremost in their affections. They learn to see God as their Father and Mary as their Mother and they learn to pray following their parents’ example. In this way one can easily see what a wonderful apostolate parents have and how it is their duty to live a fully Christian life of prayer, so they can communicate their love of God to their children, which is something more than just teaching them.
Conversations, 103

Setting an example
Children should see in their parents an example of dedication, sincere love, mutual help and understanding. The small trifles of daily life should not be allowed to hide from them the reality of a love that is capable of overcoming all obstacles.
Conversations, 108

Spend time with the children
Listen to your children. Give them your time, even the time that you have reserved for yourselves. Show them your confidence; believe whatever they tell you, even if sometimes they try to deceive you. Don’t be afraid when they rebel, because, at their age, you yourselves were more or less rebellious. Go to meet them half-way and pray for them. If you act in this Christian manner, they will come to you with simplicity, instead of trying to satisfy their legitimate curiosity by taking it to some rough or vulgar friend. Your confidence, your friendly dealings with your children, will receive an answer in their sincerity in dealing with you. Then, even if there are quarrels and lack of understanding, they will never amount to much; and this is what peace in the family and a truly Christian life mean.
Christ is Passing By, 29

Social aspects
Agreed: you do better work with that friendly chat or that heart-to-heart conversation than making speeches — ‘spectacular’ speeches — in public before thousands of people.
Nevertheless, when speeches have to be made, make them.
The Way, 846]]>
<![CDATA[What is the Holy Rosary?]]> October: Month of the Holy Rosary and on October 7th, the Church celebrates the feast day of Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary.

“The Rosary, my son, is a prayer that is very pleasing to our holy Mother Mary,” said St Josemaria Escriva to a young man who asked him about the meaning of the Rosary.]]>
<![CDATA[Holiness in the Middle of the World]]> Video. “We find God there in our daily lives,” says St Josemaria in this video compilation, made up of clips of different people who are seeking holiness in the middle of the world. ]]> <![CDATA[Canonization of Saint Josemaria]]> On October 6, 2002, Pope John Paul II canonized the founder of Opus Dei in St Peter’s Square, Rome, in the presence of more than 300,000 people from all round the world.

Days of Prayer and Thanksgiving

When Saint Josemaría first arrived in Rome on the evening of June 23, 1946, he took up lodgings in a little apartment at the very top of a building in the Piazza Città Leonina, just a short distance away from Saint Peter’s Basilica. When night fell, he went out onto the covered balcony overlooking the Apostolic Palace where Pope Pius XII lived. From there he could see the windows of the Pope’s apartment. Deeply moved, he began praying for the Holy Father.

On October 6, 2002, from very early in the morning, prayers for the Pope and the Church rose up from the huge crowd that filled not only Saint Peter’s Square, but also the Via della Conciliazione, and many of the surrounding streets and squares as well. The authorities calculated that a total of 450,000 to 500,000 people had come to celebrate Saint Josemaría’s canonization. For many of them it was their first visit to Rome; and for some, it was probably the only time they would be there in their whole lifetime.

From just one person in 1946, to several hundred thousand in 2002 – not a long time in terms of the whole history of the Church. The building in the Piazza Città Leonina, hasn’t changed, and doesn’t even look particularly old. There is a certain continuity between the prayer which Saint Josemaría offered all alone for the Pope on that first night in Rome, and the prayer of the huge, serene, multi-ethnic, joyous and at the same time committed crowd that assembled outside the Basilica. In either case what matters is the individual’s union with God; and it is impossible to calculate the fruitfulness of such prayer, because it is always God who gives the increase.

The canonization ceremony took place on Sunday, October 6 at 10 o’clock in the morning. “For the honor of the Blessed Trinity … we declare and define that Blessed Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer is a Saint and we enroll him among the Saints, decreeing that he is to be venerated in the whole Church as one of the Saints,” Pope John Paul II solemnly proclaimed. The formula of canonization was closed by an “Amen” from the whole congregation, and enthusiastic applause broke out all the way down from Saint Peter’s Square to the Castel Sant’Angelo. After the Mass was over, the Pope wanted to greet all those present, and in the “Popemobile” he went around the Square and along the whole length of the Via della Conciliazione, accompanied by the Prelate of Opus Dei. Along the way, many babies and small children received a blessing and a kiss on the forehead from the Pope.

On the morning of October 7, feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, there was a Mass of Thanksgiving in Saint Peter’s Square celebrated by the Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría, which was immediately followed by an audience with the Holy Father. The Pope spoke of how the new Saint had always displayed an attitude of unconditional service to all souls: an attitude “plain to see in his dedication to priestly ministry and in the magnanimity with which he pushed ahead so many works of evangelization and of human development to help the poorest.”

At the end of the audience the Patriarch Teoctist, head of the Romanian Orthodox Church, arrived to present his official greetings to the Holy Father. The crowd applauded repeatedly, as a sign of the affection of so many Catholics from all over the world, and of their shared desire for unity.

Thanksgiving Masses

On October 8 and 9, thanksgiving Masses were celebrated in different basilicas and churches in Rome. These Masses were celebrated in 18 languages: Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Czech, Chinese, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

Many bishops underlined the universality of the message spread by the new saint. They also expressed their happiness at the fact that Saint Josemaría Escrivá is now numbered among the saints, thus becoming part of the patrimony of the whole Church.

Some 200 faithful from Hong Kong took part in the Mass celebrated by Msgr. Joseph Ti-Kang, Archbishop of Taipei (Taiwan) in the Church of S. Girolamo della Carità. Speaking of the life of the new saint, Msgr. Ti-Kang emphasized that “the Far East was in his heart since his youth.” He also pointed out that the value of work and love for the family preached by Saint Josemaría are two values that are deeply rooted in Chinese culture.

The church of Trinità dei Monti was the setting for the thanksgiving Mass in the Maronite Rite. The Mass was concelebrated by the Archbishop of Beirut, Paul Youssef Matar, and the Archbishop of Byblos (Lebanon), Bechara Rai. At the end of the ceremony, Msgr. Matar asked the new saint for the grace to “sanctify our lives and the lives of others.” The Archbishop of Byblos pointed out that the message of the founder of Opus Dei, the universal call to holiness, “is not only for the privileged few” but for the whole world.

The thanksgiving Mass in Dutch took place in the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare. It was presided over by the nuncio of the Netherlands, Msgr. François Bacqué.

More than 9,000 people attended the concelebration in the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls for participants in the canonization coming from Spain. The ceremony was presided over by the Cardinal of Madrid, Antonio María Rouco Varela, along with the Archbishop of Toledo and the Primate of Spain, Francisco Álvarez Martínez. Thirty archbishops and bishops and nearly a hundred priests also concelebrated. In his homily, Cardinal Rouco Varela highlighted the fact that Saint Josemaría was a Spanish saint with a universal heart.

Cardinal Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, presided over one of the concelebrations in French in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere. The Cardinal explained that the call to holiness preached by the new saint invites all to harmonize the interior life with the exterior life, that is to say, the life of prayer with the activities of ordinary life. The thanksgiving Mass, at which some 2,000 people were present, was accompanied by a choir from Ivory Coast and another choir from Cameroon.

Some 2,500 people from the United States came together in Santa Maria Maggiore to participate in the Mass presided over by Msgr. John Myers, Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey. In his homily, Msgr. Myers invited all those present not to live a minimum Catholicism, and explained that holiness is an invitation addressed to all Christians. Msgr. Myers also added that the vocation to Opus Dei was not for élite Catholics, but rather for ordinary Catholics: all that is needed is an urgent availability and a desire to serve. At the end of the ceremony, the participants showed their gratitude to John Paul II with an ovation.

There were two celebrations in Italian presided over by Cardinals Giovanni Battista Re and Camillo Ruini. These took place in the Basilicas of the Holy Apostles and Saint John Lateran, respectively. During his homily, Cardinal Ruini, the Pope’s Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, defined Saint Josemaría as “a contemplative of the face of Christ.” His profound union with Christ “explains the sweeping apostolic dynamism that characterized his existence.” For this reason, “the Holy Spirit made him an example, and the preaching of Saint Josemaría is a clear reference-point for evangelization.”

In Saint Eugene’s Basilica

The final thanksgiving Mass was celebrated by the Prelate of Opus Dei, Msgr. Javier Echevarría on October 10. Afterwards, the official celebrations for Saint Josemaría’s canonization ended with the solemn transferral of his body from the Basilica of Saint Eugene back to the prelatic Church of Our Lady of Peace.

In his homily, Msgr. Javier Echevarría said that after these unforgettable days of the canonization, Opus Dei begins a new stage: “a time of more profound love for God, of more constant apostolic effort, of more generous service to the Church and all mankind. A time, in short, of greater fidelity to the spirit of sanctification in the middle of the world which our founder left us as his testament.” This new period, the Prelate said, is a time “to seek daily personal conversion.” At this time “it is natural that we should want to show our gratitude to John Paul II and that we should offer for his person and intentions intense prayers, generous mortifications, and our daily work carried out with human and supernatural perfection.”

In the morning of that same day, the Vicar General of Opus Dei, Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, presided over another thanksgiving celebration, in which he underlined the “positive view of the reality of the world, and in particular of work” that Saint Josemaría had.

Those who have returned to their respective countries, who were in Rome for the canonization, now have before them the example of Saint Josemaría, as the Holy Father pointed out: “Following in his footsteps, spread in society the awareness that we are called to holiness, without distinction of race, class, culture or age. In the first place, fight to be saints, cultivating an evangelical style of humility and service, of abandonment to Providence, and of constant listening to the voice of the Spirit. In this way, you will be ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘your light will shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.’” These words call to mind and give specific content to the “Duc in altum” – Launch out into deep water!” which the Pope himself had proposed to the whole Church at the start of the new Millennium.

<![CDATA[Let Us Pray for the Upcoming Synod]]> The XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will begin on October 4th, 2015, on the topic "The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world."

In his Wednesday audience of March 25th earlier this year, Pope Francis invited everyone, including "the Pope, cardinals, bishops, priests, men and women religious, lay faithful" to pray for the synod. "We are all called to pray for the Synod. This is what is needed, not gossip! I also call to prayer those who feel distant or who are no longer used to it. This prayer for the Synod on the Family is for the good of everyone."

"The Church, as a mother, never abandons the family, even when it is downhearted, wounded and humiliated in so many ways. Neither when it falls into sin nor moves away from the Church; she will always do everything to try to care for and heal it, to call it to conversion and to reconcile it to the Lord. If this then is the task, it is clear how much prayer the Church needs in order to be able, in every age, to carry out this mission! Prayer full of love for the family and for life. Prayer that can rejoice with the rejoicing and suffer with the suffering."

At the end of that audience, a prayer card was distributed to all of those present with a prayer composed by the Pope himself, which he invited everyone to take with them to be prayed frequently over the next few months, with holy insistence, just as Jesus asked us to do.

Prayer to the Holy Family

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendour of true love,
to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again
experience violence, rejection and division:
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may the approaching Synod of Bishops
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer.


For more information:

Address of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Conclusion of the Third Extraorindary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

Relatio Synodi of the Extraordinary Synod (2014)

Instrumentum laboris for the 2015 Synod]]>
<![CDATA[How and Why Did You Found Opus Dei?]]> "You asked me about milestones. For me every time the Work helps someone to draw closer to God and therefore become more of a brother to their fellow men. How was it founded? Without any human means. I was a twenty-six year old priest with nothing but God's grace and good humour", said St Josemaria. ]]> <![CDATA[Message of Pope Francis for World Youth Day 2016]]> “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7), this is the theme proposed by Pope Francis for the World Youth Day Krakow 2016. Download pdf.

Dear Young People,

We have come to the last stretch of our pilgrimage to Krakow, the place where we will celebrate the 31st World Youth Day next year in the month of July. We are being guided on this long and challenging path by Jesus’ words taken from the Sermon on the Mount. We began this journey in 2014 by meditating together on the first Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). The theme for 2015 was: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). During the year ahead, let us allow ourselves to be inspired by the words: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7).

1. The Jubilee of Mercy

With this theme, the Krakow 2016 WYD forms part of the Holy Year of Mercy and so becomes a Youth Jubilee at world level. It is not the first time that an international youth gathering has coincided with a Jubilee Year. Indeed, it was during the Holy Year of the Redemption (1983/1984) that Saint John Paul II first called on young people from around the world to come together on Palm Sunday. Then, during the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, over two million young people from around 165 countries gathered in Rome for the 15th World Youth Day. I am sure that the Youth Jubilee in Krakow will be, as on those two previous occasions, one of the high points of this Holy Year!

Perhaps some of you are asking: what is this Jubilee Year that is celebrated in the Church? The scriptural text of Leviticus 5 can help us to understand the meaning of a “jubilee” for the people of Israel. Every fifty years they heard the sounding of a trumpet (jobel) calling them (jobil) to celebrate a holy year as a time of reconciliation (jobal) for everyone. During that time they had to renew their good relations with God, with their neighbours and with creation, all in a spirit of gratuitousness. This fostered, among other things, debt forgiveness, special help for those who had fallen into poverty, an improvement in interpersonal relations and the freeing of slaves.

Jesus Christ came to proclaim and bring about the Lord’s everlasting time of grace. He brought good news to the poor, freedom to prisoners, sight to the blind and freedom to the oppressed (cf. Lk 4:18-19). In Jesus, and particularly in his Paschal Mystery, the deeper meaning of the jubilee is fully realized. When the Church proclaims a jubilee in the name of Christ, we are all invited to experience a wonderful time of grace. The Church must offer abundant signs of God’s presence and closeness, and reawaken in people’s hearts the ability to look to the essentials. In particular, this Holy Year of Mercy is “a time for the Church to rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord on the day of Easter: to be a sign and an instrument of the Father’s mercy” (Homily at First Vespers of Divine Mercy Sunday, 11 April 2015).

2. Merciful like the Father

The motto for this Extraordinary Jubilee is “Merciful like the Father” (cf. Misericordiae Vultus, 13). This fits in with the theme of the next WYD, so let us try to better understand the meaning of divine mercy.

The Old Testament uses various terms when it speaks about mercy. The most meaningful of these are hesed and rahamim. The first, when applied to God, expresses God’s unfailing fidelity to the Covenant with his people whom he loves and forgives for ever. The second, rahamim, which literally means “entrails”, can be translated as “heartfelt mercy”. This particularly brings to mind the maternal womb and helps us understand that God’s love for his people is like that of a mother for her child. That is how it is presented by the prophet Isaiah: “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you” (Is 49:15). Love of this kind involves making space for others within ourselves and being able to sympathize, suffer and rejoice with our neighbours.

The biblical concept of mercy also includes the tangible presence of love that is faithful, freely given and able to forgive. In the following passage from Hosea, we have a beautiful example of God’s love, which the prophet compares to that of a father for his child: “When Israel was a child I loved him; out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the farther they went from me... Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks... I stooped to feed my child” (Hos 11:1-4). Despite the child’s wrong attitude that deserves punishment, a father’s love is faithful. He always forgives his repentant children. We see here how forgiveness is always included in mercy. It is “not an abstract idea, but a concrete reality with which he reveals his love as of that of a father or a mother, moved to the very depths out of love for their child... It gushes forth from the depths naturally, full of tenderness and compassion, indulgence and mercy” (Misericordiae Vultus, 6).

The New Testament speaks to us of divine mercy (eleos) as a synthesis of the work that Jesus came to accomplish in the world in the name of the Father (cf. Mt 9:13). Our Lord’s mercy can be seen especially when he bends down to human misery and shows his compassion for those in need of understanding, healing and forgiveness. Everything in Jesus speaks of mercy. Indeed, he himself is mercy.

In Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel we find the three parables of mercy: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the parable of the prodigal son. In these three parables we are struck by God’s joy, the joy that God feels when he finds and forgives a sinner. Yes, it is God’s joy to forgive! This sums up the whole of the Gospel. “Each of us, each one of us, is that little lost lamb, the coin that was mislaid; each one of us is that son who has squandered his freedom on false idols, illusions of happiness, and has lost everything. But God does not forget us; the Father never abandons us. He is a patient Father, always waiting for us! He respects our freedom, but he remains faithful forever. And when we come back to him, he welcomes us like children into his house, for he never ceases, not for one instant, to wait for us with love. And his heart rejoices over every child who returns. He is celebrating because he is joy. God has this joy, when one of us sinners goes to him and asks his forgiveness” (Angelus, 15 September 2013).

God’s mercy is very real and we are all called to experience it firsthand. When I was seventeen years old, it happened one day that, as I was about to go out with friends, I decided to stop into a church first. I met a priest there who inspired great confidence, and I felt the desire to open my heart in Confession. That meeting changed my life! I discovered that when we open our hearts with humility and transparency, we can contemplate God’s mercy in a very concrete way. I felt certain that, in the person of that priest, God was already waiting for me even before I took the step of entering that church. We keep looking for God, but God is there before us, always looking for us, and he finds us first. Maybe one of you feels something weighing on your heart. You are thinking: I did this, I did that.... Do not be afraid! God is waiting for you! God is a Father and he is always waiting for us! It is so wonderful to feel the merciful embrace of the Father in the sacrament of Reconciliation, to discover that the confessional is a place of mercy, and to allow ourselves to be touched by the merciful love of the Lord who always forgives us!

You, dear young man, dear young woman, have you ever felt the gaze of everlasting love upon you, a gaze that looks beyond your sins, limitations and failings, and continues to have faith in you and to look upon your life with hope? Do you realize how precious you are to God, who has given you everything out of love? Saint Paul tells us that “God proves his love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). Do we really understand the power of these words?

I know how much the WYD cross means to all of you. It was a gift from Saint John Paul II and has been with you at all your World Meetings since 1984. So many changes and real conversions have taken place in the lives of young people who have encountered this simple bare cross! Perhaps you have asked yourselves the question: what is the origin of the extraordinary power of the cross? Here is the answer: the cross is the most eloquent sign of God’s mercy! It tells us that the measure of God’s love for humanity is to love without measure! Through the cross we can touch God’s mercy and be touched by that mercy! Here I would recall the episode of the two thieves crucified beside Jesus. One of them is arrogant and does not admit that he is a sinner. He mocks the Lord. The other acknowledges that he has done wrong; he turns to the Lord saying: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”. Jesus looks at him with infinite mercy and replies: “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (cf. Lk 23:32, 39-43). With which of the two do we identify? Is it with the arrogant one who does not acknowledge his own mistakes? Or is it with the other, who accepts that he is in need of divine mercy and begs for it with all his heart? It is in the Lord, who gave his life for us on the cross, that we will always find that unconditional love which sees our lives as something good and always gives us the chance to start again.

3. The amazing joy of being instruments of God’s mercy

The Word of God teaches us that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). That is why the fifth Beatitude declares that the merciful are blessed. We know that the Lord loved us first. But we will be truly blessed and happy only when we enter into the divine “logic” of gift and gracious love, when we discover that God has loved us infinitely in order to make us capable of loving like Him, without measure. Saint John says: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love... In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another” (1 Jn 4:7-11).

After this very brief summary of how the Lord bestows his mercy upon us, I would like to give you some suggestions on how we can be instruments of this mercy for others.

I think of the example of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. He said, “Jesus pays me a visit every morning in Holy Communion, and I return the visit in the meagre way I know how, visiting the poor”. Pier Giorgio was a young man who understood what it means to have a merciful heart that responds to those most in need. He gave them far more than material goods. He gave himself by giving his time, his words and his capacity to listen. He served the poor very quietly and unassumingly. He truly did what the Gospel tells us: “When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret” (Mt 6:3-4). Imagine that, on the day before his death when he was gravely ill, he was giving directions on how his friends in need should be helped. At his funeral, his family and friends were stunned by the presence of so many poor people unknown to them. They had been befriended and helped by the young Pier Giorgio.

I always like to link the Gospel Beatitudes with Matthew 25, where Jesus presents us with the works of mercy and tells us that we will be judged on them. I ask you, then, to rediscover the corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, assist the sick, visit the imprisoned and bury the dead. Nor should we overlook the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, teach the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the sorrowful, forgive offences, patiently bear with troublesome people and pray to God for the living and the dead. As you can see, mercy does not just imply being a “good person” nor is it mere sentimentality. It is the measure of our authenticity as disciples of Jesus, and of our credibility as Christians in today’s world.

If you want me to be very specific, I would suggest that for the first seven months of 2016 you choose a corporal and a spiritual work of mercy to practice each month. Find inspiration in the prayer of Saint Faustina, a humble apostle of Divine Mercy in our times:

“Help me, O Lord,
…that my eyes may be merciful, so that I will never be suspicious or judge by appearances, but always look for what is beautiful in my neighbours’ souls and be of help to them;
… that my ears may be merciful, so that I will be attentive to my neighbours’ needs, and not indifferent to their pains and complaints;
… that my tongue may be merciful, so that I will never speak badly of others, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all;
… that my hands may be merciful and full of good deeds;
… that my feet may be merciful, so that I will hasten to help my neighbour, despite my own fatigue and weariness;
… that my heart may be merciful, so that I myself will share in all the sufferings of my neighbour” (Diary, 163).

The Divine Mercy message is a very specific life plan because it involves action. One of the most obvious works of mercy, and perhaps the most difficult to put into practice, is to forgive those who have offended us, who have done us wrong or whom we consider to be enemies. “At times how hard it seems to forgive! And yet pardon is the instrument placed into our fragile hands to attain serenity of heart. To let go of anger, wrath, violence, and revenge are necessary conditions to living joyfully” (Misericordiae Vultus, 9).

I meet so many young people who say that they are tired of this world being so divided, with clashes between supporters of different factions and so many wars, in some of which religion is being used as justification for violence. We must ask the Lord to give us the grace to be merciful to those who do us wrong. Jesus on the cross prayed for those who had crucified him: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). Mercy is the only way to overcome evil. Justice is necessary, very much so, but by itself it is not enough. Justice and mercy must go together. How I wish that we could join together in a chorus of prayer, from the depths of our hearts, to implore the Lord to have mercy on us and on the whole world!

4. Krakow is expecting us!

Only a few months are left before we meet in Poland. Krakow, the city of Saint John Paul II and Saint Faustina Kowalska, is waiting for us with open arms and hearts. I believe that Divine Providence led us to the decision to celebrate the Youth Jubilee in that city which was home to those two great apostles of mercy in our times. John Paul II realized that this is the time of mercy. At the start of his pontificate, he wrote the encyclical Dives in Misericordia. In the Holy Year 2000 he canonized Sister Faustina and instituted the Feast of Divine Mercy, which now takes place on the Second Sunday of Easter. In 2002 he personally inaugurated the Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow and entrusted the world to Divine Mercy, in the desire that this message would reach all the peoples of the earth and fill their hearts with hope: “This spark needs to be lighted by the grace of God. This fire of mercy needs to be passed on to the world. In the mercy of God the world will find peace and mankind will find happiness!” (Homily at the Dedication of the Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow, 17 August 2002).

Dear young people, at the Shrine in Krakow dedicated to the merciful Jesus, where he is depicted in the image venerated by the people of God, Jesus is waiting for you. He has confidence in you and is counting on you! He has so many things to say to each of you... Do not be afraid to look into his eyes, full of infinite love for you. Open yourselves to his merciful gaze, so ready to forgive all your sins. A look from him can change your lives and heal the wounds of your souls. His eyes can quench the thirst that dwells deep in your young hearts, a thirst for love, for peace, for joy and for true happiness. Come to Him and do not be afraid! Come to him and say from the depths of your hearts: “Jesus, I trust in You!”. Let yourselves be touched by his boundless mercy, so that in turn you may become apostles of mercy by your actions, words and prayers in our world, wounded by selfishness, hatred and so much despair.

Carry with you the flame of Christ’s merciful love – as Saint John Paul II said – in every sphere of your daily life and to the very ends of the earth. In this mission, I am with you with my encouragement and prayers. I entrust all of you to Mary, Mother of Mercy, for this last stretch of the journey of spiritual preparation for the next WYD in Krakow. I bless all of you from my heart.


From the Vatican, 15 August 2015
Solemnity of the Assumption of the B.V. Mary

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<![CDATA[Marriage Quarrels]]> Video. St Josemaría talks about quarrels as well as many other practical aspects of married life in the DVD “Take a chance on happiness”.]]> <![CDATA[What are the Works of Mercy?]]> Pope Francis has announced a Jubilee Year of Mercy, and asks the faithful to practise the works of mercy during this year. What are they?

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“We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.”
Pope Francis, Bull Misericordiae Vultus, 2

1. What are the works of mercy?
It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It will be a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty. And let us enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy. Jesus introduces us to these works of mercy in his preaching so that we can know whether or not we are living as his disciples. Let us rediscover these corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead.
Pope Francis, Bull Misericordiae Vultus, 15

Mercy is more than simply being compassionate. Mercy is the overflow of charity, which brings with it also an overflow of justice. Mercy means keeping one’s heart totally alive, throbbing in a way that is both human and divine, with a love that is strong, self-sacrificing and generous. Here is what St Paul has to say about charity in his hymn to this virtue, “Charity is patient, is kind; charity feels no envy; charity is never perverse or proud, never insolent; does not claim its rights, cannot be provoked, does not brood over an injury; takes no pleasure in wrong-doing, but rejoices at the victory of truth; sustains, believes, hopes, endures, to the last” (I Cor 13: 4-7).
St Josemaria, Friends of God, 232

You cannot think of others as if they were digits, or rungs on a ladder on which you can rise, or a multitude to be harangued or humiliated, praised or despised, according to circumstances. Be mindful of what others are – and first of all those who are at your side: children of God, with all the dignity that marvellous title entails.
St Josemaria, Christ is Passing By, 26

2. What are the works of mercy?
The seven Corporal Works of Mercy are:
1. To feed the hungry.
2. To give drink to the thirsty.
3. To clothe the naked.
4. To welcome the stranger.
5. To visit the sick.
6. To visit the imprisoned.
7. To bury the dead.

The seven Spiritual Works of Mercy are:
1. To admonish sinners.
2. To instruct the ignorant.
3. To counsel the doubtful.
4. To comfort the sorrowful.
5. To bear wrongs patiently.
6. To forgive injustice.
7. To pray for the living and the dead.

Most of the corporal works of mercy are taken from our Lord’s description of the Last Judgement (Matt 25: 34-46), and from Tobias chapters 1 and 2.
The Church has drawn up the list of the spiritual works of mercy from various parts of the Bible, especially Christ’s teachings on forgiveness, fraternal correction, consoling others, bearing suffering, etc.

3. What effect do the works of mercy have on the people who practise them?
The works of mercy gain graces for those who practise them. In St Luke’s gospel, Jesus says: “Ask, and it will be given you” (Lk 11:9). Therefore, by doing works of mercy we are doing God’s will, we are giving to others, and our Lord has promised that he will also give us what we need.

Another consideration is that one way to get rid of the debt of punishment remaining in our souls for sins that have been forgiven, is to do good works. The obvious good works we can do are the works of mercy. One of the Beatitudes is: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt 5:7).

What is more, the works of mercy help us to keep going forward on the path to heaven, because they make us progressively more like Jesus, our model, who taught us what our attitude to others should be. St Matthew gives us these words from Jesus: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt 6:19-21). If we act on this lesson from our Lord, we will be exchanging earthly possessions for the riches of eternity, which are the truly priceless treasures.

Contemplating the mystery
Think first about others. That way you will pass your life on this earth, making mistakes certainly, for they are inevitable, but leaving behind you a trail of good.
And when the hour of death comes, as it must inexorably, you will welcome it gladly, like Christ, because like Him we too will rise again to receive the reward of his Love.
St Josemaria, The Way of the Cross, 14th station, point 4.

If we know Jesus, we realize that we can live only by giving ourselves to the service of others. As Christians we can’t be caught up in personal problems; we must be concerned about the universal Church and the salvation of all souls.
St Josemaria, Christ is Passing By, 145

We must give our life for others. That is the only way to live the life of Jesus Christ and to become one and the same thing with Him.
St Josemaria, The Way of the Cross, 14th station.

4. The corporal works of mercy: a brief explanation

St Matthew gives us Jesus’ description of the Last Judgement (Matt 25: 31–46). “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

1) To feed the hungry, and 2) To give drink to the thirsty.
The first two corporal works of mercy go together, and describe the help we should provide – food and other necessities – to the poorest and most needy, who do not have enough to eat every day.
In St Luke’s gospel, chapter 3, verse 11, our Lord tells us: “He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”

3) To clothe the naked.
This work of mercy provides for another basic need: clothes. It is often made easy for us by collections of clothes organized in a local church or other center. It can be a good thing to think about giving not only what we do not need or can no longer wear, but also clothes that we still like to wear.
In the Letter of St James we are encouraged to be generous: “If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?” (Jas 2:15-16).

4) To welcome the stranger.
In ancient times, sheltering strangers was a matter of life and death, because journeys were so complicated and risky. That is not always the case today. Even so, we should take opportunities to offer a place in our homes not simply as hospitality to a family member or friend, but to someone in real need.

5) To visit the sick.
This is a very practical way of helping the sick and elderly, both caring for their physical needs and offering them company and friendly conversation for a while.
The best example in Scripture is the parable of the Good Samaritan, who cared for the wounded man and, when he could no longer do so himself, committed him to the care of another, whom he paid out of his own pocket (Lk 10: 30-37).

6. To visit the imprisoned.
This involves visiting prisoners not only to offer them material assistance but spiritual help too, to help them improve their lives, change their ways, learn a skill so that they can earn their living when they finish their prison sentence, and so on. It also means ransoming the innocent and people who have been kidnapped. In ancient times, Christians used to offer payment to set slaves free, or offered themselves in exchange for innocent captives.

7. To bury the dead.
Christ had no burial-place of his own. A friend, Joseph of Arimathea, gave the use of his tomb. And not only that: he was brave enough to go to Pilate and ask for Jesus’ body. Nicodemus also helped to bury him (Jn 19: 38-42).
It might seem unnecessary to specify burying the dead as a work of mercy, because everyone gets buried. But in times of war, for instance, it may be a very demanding and merciful task indeed. Why is it important to give decent burial to the dead? Because the human body, if it was Christian, was the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit: we are “temples of the Holy Spirit” (I Cor 6:19).

Contemplating the mystery
If we want to help others, we must love them – I insist – with a love clothed in understanding, dedication, affection and voluntary humility. Then we will understand why our Lord summed up the whole law in that double commandment, which is really just one: love of God, and love of one’s neighbour, with all our heart.
Maybe you are thinking that sometimes Christians – not just other people, you and I – forget the most elementary applications of this duty. Perhaps you bring to mind all the injustices which cry for redress, all the abuses which go uncorrected, the discrimination passed on from one generation to the next with no attempt to find permanent solutions.
I cannot propose to you a particular way to solve problems of this kind, there is no reason why I should. But, as a priest of Jesus Christ, it is my duty to remind you of what sacred Scripture says. Meditate on the scene of the judgment which Jesus himself has described: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; naked and you did not clothe me; sick and in prison and you did not visit me.”
A man or a society that does not react to suffering and injustice and makes no effort to alleviate them is still distant from the love of Christ’s heart. While Christians enjoy the fullest freedom in finding and applying various solutions to these problems, they should be united in having one and the same desire to serve mankind. Otherwise their Christianity will not be the word and life of Jesus; it will be a fraud, a deception of God and man.
St Josemaria, Christ is Passing By, 167

I give you thanks, my Jesus, for your decision to become perfect Man, with a Heart which loved and is most lovable; which loved unto death and suffered; which was filled with joy and sorrow; which delighted in the things of men and showed us the way to Heaven; which subjected itself heroically to duty and acted with mercy; which watched over the poor and the rich and cared for sinners and the just... I give you thanks, my Jesus. Give us hearts to measure up to Yours!
St Josemaria, Furrow, 813

It is love that gives meaning to sacrifice. Every mother knows well what it means to sacrifice herself for her children; it is not a matter of giving them a few hours of her time, but of spending her whole life in their benefit. We must live thinking of others and using things in such a way that there will be something to offer to others. All these are dimensions of poverty which guarantee an effective detachment.
St Josemaria, Conversations, 111

The spiritual works of mercy: a brief explanation

1) To admonish sinners.
Fraternal correction is explained by Jesus himself in St Matthew’s gospel. “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother” (Matt 18:15).
We should correct our neighbour gently and humbly. We will often find it difficult, but if so we can recall what St James says at the end of his Letter: “Whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (Jas 5:20).

2) To instruct the ignorant.
Enlightening people in any field, including that of religion, whether in writing, conversation, or any other of the available media. As the Book of Daniel says, “those who turn many to righteousness [shall shine] like the stars for ever and ever” (Dan 12:3b).

3) To counsel the doubtful.
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of Counsel. Anyone who aims to give good advice to others must first have a clear conscience and be able to listen to God, because what we should give is not our personal opinion but true guidance to those who need it.

4) To comfort the sorrowful.
Being there for our brothers and sisters all the time, but especially in times of difficulty, means acting like Jesus, who was moved to pity by the suffering of others. We see this in St Luke’s gospel, with the incident of the widow’s son at Naim (or Nain). “As he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ And he came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother” (Lk 7:12-15).

5) To bear wrongs patiently.
Patience in the face of wrong is a virtue, and a true work of mercy. However, in cases where bearing other people’s defects or wrong-doing in silence causes objective harm to the person doing wrong, or to others, we also need to have the courage and charity to correct the wrong-doer gently and positively.

6) To forgive injustice.
In the Our Father, we say “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”, and our Lord underlines this point clearly: “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt 6:14-15). Forgiving offences means overcoming our feelings of resentment and desire for revenge, and instead, treating the offender kindly. The best example of forgiveness in the Old Testament is that of Joseph, who forgave his brothers, after they had tried to kill him and then sold him as a slave. “Do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life” (Genesis 45:5). And the greatest example of forgiveness in the New Testament is that of Christ on the Cross, teaching us that we must forgive everything, always. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).

7) To pray for the living and the dead.
St Paul recommends us to pray for everyone without distinction, including those who hold posts of government and responsibility, since God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim 2:1-4). The Holy Souls in Purgatory depend on our prayers. It is a good work to pray for them to be freed from their sins (cf. 2 Mac 12:46).
Pope Francis asks all Christians and people of good will to pray especially for persecuted Christians. We can stop and think how we are fulfilling his express wishes, so that our brothers and sisters in the faith may be supported and consoled by our prayer.

Contemplating the mystery
We have to open our eyes; we have to look around us and recognize how God is calling us through the people at our side. We cannot turn our backs on others, ignoring them, because we are caught up in our own little world. That wasn’t how Jesus lived. The Gospel often speaks of his mercy, his ability to feel the sorrow and share the needs of others. He consoled the widow of Naim; he wept at the death of Lazarus; he felt compassion for the crowds that followed him with nothing to eat; he also had pity on sinners, on those who go through life without knowing light or truth. “And when he landed, Jesus saw a large crowd, and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.”
When we are truly sons and daughters of Mary, we understand this attitude of our Lord, and our heart expands and becomes tender. We feel the sufferings, doubts, loneliness and sorrow of all other people, our brothers and sisters. And we urgently want to help them and speak to them about God, so that they can treat him as their Father and understand the motherly care which Mary is offering them.
Christ is Passing By, 146

We should accompany others so that no one is left, or can feel, abandoned. Our charity has to be affectionate, full of human warmth.
Christ is Passing By, 36
<![CDATA[A Friend Gave me the Prayercard]]> Because of the situation in my country, my husband and I decided to move to Panama for a while. It was not very hard to find jobs there. But when we then moved to Chile, it was much more difficult to get into the jobs market. I began to work for a family firm. Meanwhile I kept looking for a job that matched my qualifications better, but found nothing, and things began to look somewhat frustrating and discouraging.
One day a friend from university gave me a prayer-card of St. Josemaria. I had never seen or heard of this priest before, but I began praying through his intercession with great faith, and in less than a month a vacancy came up in a firm in the area of my specialisation. The pay was excellent and it was a good place to work. Today I am very happy and grateful. I hope to be able to hold on to this blessing.
<![CDATA[I Discovered the Novena]]> Five years ago I promised St Josemaria that I would thank him for having found me a job. In 2009 I lost my job and spent the next year trying to get a new job but without success. Then St Josemaria came to my help. By “chance” – God’s providence - I discovered the Novena to St Josemaria and began praying it straight away, and I got a job. I recommended the Novena to a friend who also needed to find a job and she found one after doing the Novena. Last year I decided to change my job and after many unsuccessful attempts I again had recourse to the Novena. After praying to St Josemaria and the Mother of God, a new job fell into my lap – a real “godsend”.
St Josemaria is a wonderful intercessor before God. Thank you very much for all the kindnesses I have received through his and our Lady’s mediation.
<![CDATA[1931.10.13]]> “I said the other day that I do little praying. I need to correct, or rather to explain that statement. I have no order in [...]]]> <![CDATA[Holiness in the Middle of the World]]> Video. “We find God there in our daily lives,” says St Josemaria in this video compilation, made up of clips of different people who are seeking holiness in the middle of the world.]]> <![CDATA[Marriage: a Christian Vocation]]> Download pdf of the homily "Marriage: a christian vocation", given by St Josemaria in Christmas 1970. ]]> <![CDATA[The Pope Calls On Society to Do More to Support Families]]> Video (Rome Reports). Before starting off his weekly general audience, Pope Francis made his way through St. Peter's Square, blessing pilgrims along the way. More than 50,000 people attended the audience under gloomy skies that eventually turned sunny. ]]> <![CDATA[God doesn't change, and he doesn't abandon us]]> St Josemaria encourages his hearers to trust in God's mercy in difficult times and not to worry, because God gives strength: "Keep calm and trust".]]>