The Second Vatican Council


In 1959 the recently elected Pope St John XXIII convened an ecumenical council: the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). St Josemaria followed the council enthusiastically praying and asking the members of Opus Dei to pray for its success.

Some of his spiritual sons participated in the council, among them his closest collaborator, Blessed Alvaro del Portillo. Throughout the duration of the council, many council fathers wanted to meet St Josemaria and hear his views about the matters under discussion.

At the conclusion of the sessions, he was greatly pleased to receive the council’s teaching. “One of my greatest joys was to see the Second Vatican Council so clearly proclaim the divine vocation of the laity. Without any boasting, I would say that as far as our spirit is concerned the Council has not meant an invitation to change, but, on the contrary, has confirmed what, with the grace of God, we have been living and teaching for so many years. The principal characteristic of Opus Dei is not a set of techniques or methods of apostolate, nor any specific structures, but a spirit which moves one to sanctify one’s ordinary work.”

When the Council’s documents were published he immediately began to implement them into the life and liturgy of the centers of Opus Dei.