I began to experience great freedom in my life

Savita Borges Professor of Hindi. New Delhi, India

June 1, 2002

When I lived in Iran, my daughter Shailani told me about Opus Dei. Saint Josemaria’s writings opened up a completely new horizon in my life. I learned that God is not a distant being: we can draw close to him as a Father. I began to experience a great freedom in my life. I help out above all by my prayer, so that many others will also make this discovery. I speak about God with my friends and acquaintances and with the people I meet on the train or wherever, if I notice any interest in the faith. Many of these people are of the Hindu faith. Since I am a convert from that religion, we understand each other very well.

A Christian is a Christian at all times

Father Aleksandr Men, Russia

April 4, 2002

Escriva says that to be a Christian does not mean to live like a Philistine, a petty bourgeois, a heathen and on Sundays go somewhere at a set time for spiritual uplift. A Christian is a Christian at all times, every day, in the most ordinary circumstances, dealing with the most ordinary things.

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Three Russians among the thousands at St Josemaria’s canonization

Aleksandr Ivanovich Zorin, poet, Moscow

March 4, 2002

The square in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica holds 300,000 people. Today there will be more than 400,000. Half of them will be young men and women in their twenties. The canonization of Josemaria Escriva has brought people from around the world to Rome. Volunteers - some 1,800 mostly young people and by no means all Italians - will be on hand. They arrived in Rome two weeks early for special training. And now, in the ebb and flow of the throng, they are able to channel the flood like experienced sea captains. They have command posts – at the airport, in the streets of the city and in Saint Peter’s Square.

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A prayer-card and its message

Anastasia Ngumuta, doctor and homemaker, Nairobi, Kenya

February 28, 2002

I am a doctor in a private hospital in Nairobi. I am married and have four children, aged twenty-four, twenty-three, twenty, and eleven and a half.

I was born and brought up in a rural setting in Machakos District in Kenya. My father had a low-grade job in Nairobi and most of the time my seven sisters and I lived with our mother. My mother worked hard as an agricultural worker to supplement my father’s income, in a semi-arid zone. They taught my sisters and me to work hard and to value family life, because we had a very happy family.

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A good co-librettist

Julio Vivián, producer and radio presenter, Uruguay

February 28, 2002

“Everything goes”. That was the idea I had when I was fourteen and began working in the media. I’d seen the media as my vocation ever since I was very young. I’d found it quite hard to get into the media world, and so I was prepared to go to any lengths not to disappear from it again.

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President of a family institute

Cecilia Royals*, President of the National Institute of Womanhood, mother of six, USA

February 27, 2002

The influence of Josemaria Escriva on my life has been radical. He has touched the core of my being and explained to me the purpose of my existence. He has taught me to love work as an offering to God, united to the sacrifice of the Mass, for my sanctification and the sanctification of the whole world. He has taught me to desire to do it to the best of my capacity for the glory of God and in order for it to be an offering worthy of God. He has taught me to love ordinary work, to devote the time and study necessary to increase my effectiveness. Gradually, I learned to extend and expand my work, not shrink it. To do more, sooner and better.

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My home-making is a real full-time job

Genevieve McCaughan, Sydney, Australia

February 8, 2002

I have been happily married for 17 years and we have ten children aged between 16 and 2 years old. My main professional work during these 17 years has been my home and bringing up my children. In a country like Australia, where there is virtually no home help, one can really call this a full-time job.

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Always go forward

Joyce Waweru, trader, Limuru, Kenya

February 2, 2002

From Josemaria’s teachings I have learned the love of happiness, the importance of a job well done and things about the salvation of my soul. All of this has helped me to work more and to be united to my husband. As a result, I think that in our marriage we will always go forward never backwards.

Living out my faith in my work

Montserrat Caballé, Soprano, Spain

February 1, 2002

My life would be meaningless without singing. This art is a gift that enables me to give unique expression to love, goodness, patriotism, and my innermost feelings at their very highest and most unselfish level. What I most enjoy is giving enjoyment to others.

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Each vest or shirt that I iron has a name

Martine Liminski, Germany

January 27, 2002

In my daily work at home, each vest or shirt that I iron has a name, the name of the person it belongs to. Every meal I cook with care and concentration gathers real people around the table, and those little jobs done with love are big prayers for them all.

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Father, what advice do you have for a newly-married couple?

Maria Ester Goldsack, Santiago de Chile

January 22, 2002

In July 1974, I was lucky enough to meet Msgr Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer in the Colegio Tabancura in Chile. I asked him a question which has had a profound effect on my life. I said, “Father, what advice do you have for a newly-married couple who are aiming for holiness?”

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A practical sense of prayer

Mrs. Rack, home-maker

January 19, 2002

Josemaria Escriva was an eminently practical person. What is practical is always realistic, useful, lasting. I am sure that his practical, concrete spiritual advice was a consequence of his great love for God and human beings, to whom he tried to transmit this same love. Prayer, talking to God in Opus Dei, was always something experienced as very real.

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