Saxum in the Holy Land
Since 2014 the St. Josemaria Institute has been a proud supporter of the global campaign for Saxum in the Holy Land.
St Josemaria Escriva longed to visit the Holy Land during his lifetime, to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. According to his successor, Blessed Alvaro del Portillo, “he had a great desire to go [there]; he prayed as one more character in the Gospel, he took note of the details, but since he had not been there, he created the landscape as best he could from what he had studied and from what he read.”
And, his desire for visiting the Holy Land also extended to all his spiritual children in Opus Dei and their families and friends whom he wished could have the opportunity in their lifetimes “to pray, kneel upon and kiss the soil which Jesus trod upon.”
In 1994 Blessed Alvaro del Portillo made a special pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He undertook the pilgrimage in thanksgiving for his 80th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination. The pilgrimage, however, resulted in a bittersweet memory. He celebrated his last Holy Mass in the Church of the Cenacle in Jerusalem and died the following day in Rome.
That same year, in memory of Blessed Alvaro del Portillo, the Prelature of Opus Dei, together with cooperators and friends, initiated the project to establish the Saxum Conference Center and Saxum Visitor Center in the Holy Land. The name Saxum, which means ‘rock’ in Latin, pays homage to the nickname given to Blessed Alvaro by St Josemaria for his great fidelity and fortitude in his work, his vocation, and service to the Church.
Today the Saxum Foundation is coordinating the campaign and development of Saxum in the Holy Land: to help pilgrims from all over the world to travel to the Holy Land “to seek Christ, to find Christ and to love Christ.”
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