41 Years: “Helping from Heaven” – The Favors of St. Josemaria Escriva
Each year on the feast day of St Josemaria Escriva (June 26th), we especially give thanks to God for all the favors that he has obtained for us—the big and the small, the ordinary and the extraordinary—that have impacted our lives and the lives of everyone around us.
The Favors of St. Josemaria: Stories of Intercession
On this feast day of St Josemaria (June 26th), we give thanks to God for all the favors that he has obtained for us—the big and the small, the ordinary and the extraordinary—that have impacted our lives and the lives of everyone around us.
Like this husband and father living in Spain who shared his story about “finding the light at the end of the tunnel”:
“I lost my job on September 23. My whole world came crashing down. I have a six-year-old daughter, and my wife doesn’t work. I was overwhelmed with fear, anxiety and unhappiness, because I didn’t know what would become of us. I have worked since I was 16 and now I’m 40. I didn’t know what do to with myself, at home doing nothing all day, and it was worse not to be bringing in any money for the family. I went to the doctor’s and was prescribed tranquilizers and antidepressants.
“The one thing I wanted was a job, so my daughter wouldn’t see me doing nothing and I could feel useful. At the end of October, there came to my hands a card with the prayer of St Josemaria and began to say it every day. By the second day I already felt calmer. I started reading about him, and watched the documentary about him getting across the Pyrenees during the Spanish Civil War, and put my name down for the Newsletter. My mornings that had been so long and tedious, became filled with interest. I couldn’t wait for the time to come to carry on praying and finding out and reading more about the life of this saint.
“Halfway through November, I saw the Novena for Work to St Josemaria and I say without exaggerating that those words, those sentences, should be read by all workers, regardless of what religion or denomination they belong to – ‘God will not accept shoddy workmanship’, ‘sanctify your work as if it was the best job in the world’, ‘if you don’t like what you do, do it as well as possible until you can find something better’. What words, what sentences! I prayed the Novena enthusiastically, pausing over each phrase, devouring them. My petition was that I would be working by December 7, in honour of the Virgin Mary. I finished the Novena and I got telephone calls from four firms, not actually offering me a job but including me in the selection process. It was something. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and didn’t need to take any tablets – I was getting my ‘medication’ from another source and in another way.
“I began on a second Novena, meditating still more deeply on the phrases that had helped me the most. Before the end of it I managed to get a job with a big firm, better than the one I had worked with before, and my co-workers are great and I know they will help me.
“I can say that this tough time helped me become stronger, but above and beyond all of that, the situation brought me closer to my family and friends, who never abandoned me for a moment. And getting to know this Saint who has helped and supported me so much. I say the prayer to St Josemaria every day, asking him to ensure that this sense of plenitude I feel today may never be lost.”
M. H., Spain
January 16, 2014
Stories of Intercession
If you have experienced big or small favors in your life, especially through the intercession of St Josemaria, please click here to tell us your story. By sharing your story with us you can also reach the hearts of others and bring them closer to God.
“It is not easy to speak about personal things, an even less so in front of so many people. You have shared the greatest treasure which you have: your stories, your lives and how Jesus became a part of them.”
Address to Young People in Paraguay
July 12, 2015
41 Years: “Helping from Heaven”
June 26, 1975 – 2016
In this world, saints have spent their lives in loving both God and neighbor, thus imitating Jesus Christ, who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). But when they reach heaven, as we read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2683), they “constantly care for those whom they have left on earth… Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.”
It thus seems that in the next life God grants saints the power to continue the mission they carried out here below, but in a broader, deeper fashion.
“From heaven I’ll be able to help you better,” St Josemaria told us at the end of his life…
His holy life had an enormous impact on those around him and on the millions familiar with his writings. Yet with his arrival in heaven, his help has become much more far-reaching, thanks to his intercession before God for so many people’s needs, whether big or small. Interestingly enough, he tends to work on two levels at once. While, for instance, he helps a girl recover the contact lens she lost in the bus, he likewise touches her heart to welcome Jesus Christ.
The mission God entrusted to Josemaria Escriva on October 2, 1928, was to found Opus Dei, a path to holiness through professional work and a Christian’s ordinary duties. Our Lord wanted to remind all men and women that they can and should be saints— also “ordinary” people: married or single; engaged in any honest job; sick or well, young or old, poor or rich… from heaven St Josemaria continues to carry out this mission, helping so many people to encounter Christ amid the problems, dreams, joys, and sorrows of daily life. Alongside Jesus Christ, one’s daily and at times tedious panorama gains an unexpected newness, a surprising grandeur, thanks to God’s redemptive love.
To help us discover the permanent newness that Christ’s light projects onto daily life, St Josemaria keeps on beckoning from heaven, intent on teaching us to love. He sends favors, both great and small, that contain a call from God to each soul… the beneficiary is led to an unexpected encounter with Christ himself.
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