St. Josemaria Escriva
St. Josemaria Escriva was born in Barbastro, Spain, on January 9, 1902. He was ordained to the priesthood in Zaragoza, Spain on March 28, 1925. On October 2, 1928, by divine inspiration, he founded Opus Dei—a Personal Prelature of the Catholic Church that fosters among Christians the search for holiness in the world, especially in the ordinary circumstances of life and the sanctification of work. On June 26, 1975, he died suddenly in Rome after a final affectionate glance at a picture of Our Lady in the room where he worked. Pope St. John Paul II canonized St. Josemaria in Rome on October 6, 2002. His liturgical feast is celebrated on June 26.
Speaking about his own life, St. Josemaria explained that, “the life of a man who lives by faith will always be the story of the mercies of God. At some moments the story may perhaps be difficult to read, because everything can seem useless and even a failure. But at other times Our Lord lets one see how the fruit abounds and then it is natural for one’s soul to break out in thanksgiving” (Conversations, no. 72).
The life of St. Josemaria Escriva, priest and founder of Opus Dei, was a life of faith, a life holy and full of God—a life dedicated to doing God’s will and bringing to the world the message God entrusted to him: “Sanctity is not for a privileged few. The Lord calls all of us. He expects love from all of us—from everyone, wherever they are; from everyone, whatever their state in life, their profession or job. For the daily life we live, apparently so ordinary, can be a path to sanctity: it is not necessary to abandon one’s place in the world in order to search for God…because all the paths of the earth can be the occasion for an encounter with Christ” (Letter 24-III-1930, no. 2).