Who is St. Josemaria?
Saint Josemaria Escriva was born in Barbastro, Spain, on 9 January 1902. He was ordained to the priesthood in Saragossa in 28 March 1925. On 2 October 1928, by divine inspiration, he founded Opus Dei. On 26 June 1975, he died suddenly in Rome, after a final affectionate glance at a picture of Our Lady in the room where he worked. At the time of his death Opus Dei had spread to six continents with over 60,000 members of 80 nationalities, serving the Church with the same spirit of complete union with the Pope and bishops that Saint Josemarнa had always lived. The Holy Father John Paul II canonized the Founder of Opus Dei in Rome on October 6, 2002. His liturgical feast is celebrated on 26 June.
What is Opus Dei?
Opus Dei (Work of God), whose full name is the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, is a personal Prelature of the Roman Catholic Church. Its aim is to spread, in all spheres of society, a deep awareness of the universal call to holiness and the apostolate, in the fulfillments of one’s ordinary professional work. A central characteristic of the spirit of Opus Dei, and, to some extent, a prerequisite for understanding anything about it, is the awareness that the ordinary Christian, living his life in the middle of the world, is called to holiness and apostolate, without leaving the world, or, in other words, precisely through his whole professional, family and social life.
Saint Josemaria writes:
“We have reminded Christians of the marvelous words of Genesis that God created man that he might work—and we have concentrated on the example of Christ, who spent most of his life on earth working as a craftsman in a village. We love this human work which he embraced as a condition of life, and which he cultivated and sanctified. We see in work, in man’s noble and creative toil, not only one of the highest human values, an indispensable means to social progress and to greater justice in the relations between men, but also a sign of God’s love for all creatures and of the love of men for one another and for God: a means of perfection, a way to sanctity” (Conversations, 10).
What does Opus Dei do?
Opus Dei helps ordinary people live up to their Christian calling in their day-to-day affairs by giving them the spiritual support and formation they need to achieve this. It promotes an awareness of the universal call to holiness—the radical idea that every person is called by God to be a saint—especially holiness in and by means of one’s ordinary work and daily routine. This goal is pursued through retreats, mornings/evenings of recollection, courses in philosophy and theology, personal spiritual guidance, for members first of all, but also for others who wish to avail themselves of these spiritual services. The primary apostolic work of Opus Dei is that carried out by each of its members, as free and responsible individuals acting on their own initiative. There are also corporate undertakings in which Opus Dei oversees the spiritual and doctrinal aspects. These are always not-for-profit ventures that provide an educational, charitable, or similar social service, and include conference centers, schools and universities, student residences, youth clubs, farm schools and medical clinics.
May I attend activities of Opus Dei?
Everyone is welcome to attend the activities of Opus Dei. For further information on the activities of Opus Dei in the Los Angeles Area, you may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tilden Study Center is one of the Opus Dei centers in Los Angeles. The corporate apostolic works of Opus Dei (schools, hospitals and other social projects) are open to everyone, regardless of race, nationality, religion or social standing.