Josemaria Escriva. Founder of Opus Dei - Opus Dei founder St Josemaria Escriva, his life day by day, teachings on holiness, apostolate, laity, Catholic Church. Testimonies from Opus Dei members <![CDATA[Inspired to Love]]> This documentary tells the story of St Josemaria, the “saint of the ordinary” and the founder of Opus Dei, and how his message has inspired people of all walks of life to find meaning in their everyday activities, seeing them as a way of serving others.]]> <![CDATA[Please, Thank you, and I’m Sorry – Three Keywords for Married Couples]]> “Please,” “Thank you,” “I’m sorry.” Pope Francis teaches that although these words are easier to say than to mean, they are absolutely necessary. They are part of good manners, meaning respect and the desire for the good of the other, not hypocrisy or pretence.

“If a marriage is to preserve its initial charm and beauty, both husband and wife should try to renew their love day after day, and that is done through sacrifice, with smiles and also with ingenuity,” said St Josemaria, and he recommended spouses to try and overcome themselves a little every day to ensure that their marriage always stays as young and joyful as it was on the first day.

The word “please” reminds us that we should be polite, respectful and patient towards everyone, including those closest to us. Like Jesus, our attitude should be one of standing at the door and knocking, as Pope Francis recalled in his general audience of May 13, 2015.

Engagement should be time for growing in affection and for getting to know each other better. As in every school of love, it should be inspired, not by a desire to receive, but by a spirit of giving, of understanding, of respect and gentle consideration. Conversations, no. 105

With regard to chastity in married life, I can assure all married couples that they need not be afraid of showing affection for each other. On the contrary, this inclination is at the root of their family life. What our Lord expects from them is that they should respect each other and that they should be loyal to each other; that they should act with refinement, naturalness and modesty. Christ is Passing By, no. 25

Couples have the grace of the married state – the grace they receive in the Sacrament of Marriage – which enables them to live all the human and Christian virtues in their married life: understanding, good humour, patience, forgiveness, refinement and consideration in their mutual relations. The important thing is not to give up the effort, not to give in to nerves, pride or personal fads or obsessions. In order to achieve this, husbands and wives must grow in interior life and learn from the Holy Family to live with refinement, for supernatural and at the same time – human reasons, the virtues of a Christian home. I repeat again that the grace of God will not be lacking. Conversations, no. 108

Every Christian home should be a place of peace and serenity. In spite of the small frustrations of daily life, an atmosphere of profound and sincere affection should reign there together with a deep-rooted calm, which is the result of authentic faith that is put into practice. Christ is Passing By, no. 22

They will achieve this aim by exercising the virtues of faith and hope, facing serenely all the great and small problems which confront any family, and persevering in the love and enthusiasm with which they fulfil their duties. In this way they practice the virtue of charity in all things. They learn to smile and forget about themselves in order to pay attention to others. Husband and wife will listen to each other and to their children, showing them that they are really loved and understood. They will forget about the unimportant little frictions that selfishness could magnify out of proportion. They will do lovingly all the small acts of service that make up their daily life together. Christ is Passing By, no. 23

To love is... to cherish but one thought, to live for the person loved, not to belong to oneself, to be happily and freely, with one’s heart and soul, subjected to another’s will... and at the same time to one’s own. Furrow, no. 797

The secret of married happiness lies in everyday things, not in daydreams. It lies in finding the hidden joy of coming home in the evening, in affectionate relations with their children, in the everyday work in which the whole family cooperates; in good humour in the face of difficulties that should be met with a sporting spirit; in making the best use of all the advantages that civilisation offers to help us rear children, to make the house pleasant and life more simple. Conversations, no. 91

Care for your children affectionately, helping them with the good example of your unity, love, and understanding, so that they never remember seeing or hearing their parents quarrelling. And they will always sing your praises. You’ll be blessed a thousand times. That is the best way to raise children: when husband and wife love one another truly, in everything: in good times and in bad. (St Josemaria, notes from a family gathering, Peru, July 25, 1974)

Thank you!
Secondly, “thank you!” The dignity of the human person, and social justice, mean that we need to be educated in gratitude. For Christians, gratitude is a virtue that grows up from the very heart of the faith, Pope Francis reminded us in the same general audience.

Human love is a gift that God gives you. Aren’t you grateful for that love? Thank him for it! Wives, thank him for your husbands’ love. And they give thanks for your sensitivity and your responsiveness. (St Josemaria, notes from a family gathering, Argentina, June 21, 1974)

If a marriage is to preserve its initial charm and beauty, both husband and wife should try to renew their love day after day, and that is done through sacrifice, with smiles and also with ingenuity. Conversations, no. 107

Love your wife very much. She is the most beautiful woman in the world. God chose her for you from all eternity. (St Josemaria, notes from a family gathering, Argentina, June 21, 1974)

Be grateful to your parents for bringing you into this world, thus enabling you to become a child of God. And be all the more grateful if it was they who placed in your soul the first seeds of faith and piety, of your Christian way, or of your vocation. The Forge, no. 19

I’m sorry
The third keyword is “I’m sorry”. It’s the best way to prevent our shared life from disintegrating. Husband and wife, if ever you quarrel, don’t let the day end without saying sorry and making your peace with each other, recommended Pope Francis in the same general audience.

At times we take ourselves too seriously. Each of us gets angry now and again. Sometimes because it is necessary; at other times because we lack a spirit of mortification. The important thing is to show, with a smile that restores family warmth, that these outbursts of anger do not destroy affection. In a word, the life of husband and wife should consist of loving one another and loving their children, because by doing this they are loving God. Conversations, no. 108

Anyone who says he cannot put up with this or that, or finds it impossible to hold his peace, is exaggerating in order to justify himself. We should ask God for the strength to overcome our whims and to practise self-control. When we lose our temper we lose control of the situation. Words can become harsh and bitter and we end up by offending, wounding and hurting, even though we didn’t mean to. Conversations, no. 108

We should all learn to keep quiet, to wait and say things in a positive, optimistic way. When her husband loses his temper, the moment has arrived for the wife to be especially patient until he calms down, and vice versa. If there is true love and a real desire to deepen it, it will very rarely happen that the two give in to bad temper at the same time. Conversations, no. 108

Avoid pride. It is the greatest enemy of your married life. In your little quarrels, neither of you is right. Whoever is the calmer should say a word or two to ward off bad temper for a while. Then, later on, when you are alone with each other, go ahead and argue it out – soon afterwards you will make peace anyway. Christ is Passing By, no. 86

Forgiveness. To forgive with one’s whole heart and with no trace of a grudge will always be a wonderfully fruitful disposition to have! That was Christ’s attitude on being nailed to the Cross: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they are doing.” From this came your salvation and mine. Furrow, no. 805

Let’s be frank – the normal thing is for the family to be united. There may be friction and differences, but that’s quite normal. In a certain sense it even adds flavour to our daily life. These problems are insignificant, time always takes care of them. What remains firm is love, a true and sincere love which comes from being generous and which brings with it a concern for one another, and which enables the members of the family to sense each other’s difficulties and offer tactful solutions. Conversations, no. 101

You complain that he shows you no understanding. I am certain he does as much as he can to try to understand you. But what about you? When will you make a bit of an effort to understand him? Furrow, no. 759

Tongues have been wagging and you have suffered rebuffs that hurt you all the more because you were not expecting them. Your supernatural reaction should be to pardon, – and even to ask pardon. The Way, no. 689

That friend of ours, with no false humility, used to say: “I haven’t needed to learn how to forgive, because the Lord has taught me how to love.” Furrow, no. 804

Not to return evil for evil, to refrain from vengeance and to forgive ungrudgingly (...). Christ (...) wanted to teach his disciples – you and me – to have a great and sincere charity, one which is more noble and more precious: that of loving one another in the same way as Christ loves each one of us. Friends of God, no. 225

At certain times it seems as though everything goes as we had planned. But this generally lasts for only a short time. Life is a matter of facing up to difficulties and of experiencing in our hearts both joy and sorrow. It is in this forge that man can acquire fortitude, patience, magnanimity and composure. Friends of God, no. 77

We can keep calm because there is always forgiveness and because there is a solution for everything, except death; and for the children of God, death is life. We must try to keep our peace, even if only so as to act intelligently, since the man who remains calm is able to think, to study the pros and cons, to examine judiciously the outcome of the actions he is about to undertake. He then plays his part calmly and decisively. Friends of God, no. 79

<![CDATA[A brief biography]]> Saint Josemaria Escriva was born in Barbastro, Spain, on 9 January 1902. He was ordained to the priesthood in Saragossa on 28 March 1925. On 2 October 1928, by divine inspiration, he founded Opus Dei. On 26 June 1975, he died unexpectedly in Rome in the room where he worked, after a last affectionate glance at a picture of Our Lady. Opus Dei had by then spread to five continents, with over 60.000 members of 80 nationalities, serving the Church with the same spirit of complete union with the Pope and the Bishops which characterised Saint Josemaría. His Holiness Pope John Paul II canonised the Founder of Opus Dei on 6 October 2002. His feast is celebrated on 26 June. The body of Saint Josemaría rests in the prelatic Church of Our Lady of Peace, Viale Bruno Buozzi 75, Rome.

More information
<![CDATA[The prelatic church of Opus Dei]]> A place of prayer, housing the mortal remains of Saint Josemaría Escrivá

The mortal remains of Saint Josemaría Escrivá are contained in a casket located beneath the altar of the Church of Our Lady of Peace. Millions of people throughout the world turn to Saint Josemaría’s intercession to gain graces of every kind from God. Many come to the Church of the Prelature to continue their petition or give thanks for graces received through his intercession.

On December 31, 1959, Saint Josemaría celebrated the first Mass in the church of Our Lady of Peace. After Opus Dei was established as a personal prelature, this became the Church of the Prelature. Saint Josemaría’s devotion to our Lady is the reason for the title of this church and the main picture. The crypt of the church holds the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and confessionals. Saint Josemaría preached with untiring zeal on our need for the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, given by God to his children as a source of peace and never-ending joy.

The crypt is also the burial-place of Blessed Alvaro del Portillo (1914-1994), Saint Josemaría’s first successor at the head of Opus Dei.

“Holy Mary is the Queen of peace, and thus the Church invokes her. So when your soul or your family are troubled, or things go wrong at work, in society or between nations, cry out to her without ceasing. Call to her by this title: 'Regina pacis, ora pro nobis — Queen of peace, pray for us.' Have you at least tried it when you have lost your calm? You will be surprised at its immediate effect.” Saint Josemaría Escriva

Information and map

Our Lady of Peace Prelatic church of Opus Dei
75, Viale Bruno Buozzi
00197 Rome
Tel. 06-808961

On July 27, the church will be closed; the 8,30 mass will be celebrated in the crypt. On July 28, the crypt will be closed from 9,30 to 14,00.

Open daily 8.30 a.m. – 8.25 p.m. (from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., use entrance at n. 36 Via di Villa Sacchetti).

Mass times: Daily at 8.30, at 12.00 noon and at 19.30*(During Holy Week the only Mass is at 8.30am).
*There is no Mass at 19.30 during the months of July and August.

Confessions: in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
Groups wishing to give advance notice of their visit, and priests wishing to celebrate Mass, please telephone the number given above.

Useful telephone numbers:
Rome Information: 06-0606
Rome Airports: 06-65951 (main switchboard)
Taxis: 06-3570; 06-4994; 06-8822

Download map
<![CDATA[The real meaning of a pilgrimage]]> To begin with, I would like to say a big Thank you to everyone who made my World Youth Day experience come true. Our journey began in Taipei; we travelled through Shanghai, Rome, Vienna and finally arrived at Krakow. I'm especially grateful to each and every person who helped us along the way. Without them, my journey would not have been fruitful.
I am sure that the WYD is a pilgrimage. Yet, it is not an ordinary pilgrimage since it is infused with so much youthful passion and vitality.
Just to explain further, a sightseeing trip is very different from a pilgrimage. The former allows us to visit touristic places that one is interested in, and its benefits will be felt more through great food and services. Whereas in a pilgrimage, one has to follow a certain schedule day after day, and among them there is morning meditation followed by Mass, Angelus, praying the Rosary and later on, another meditation. In the beginning, I had great difficulty following the schedule. But, I already paid a huge sum for the flight, so, I wanted to enjoy Poland to its fullest by exploring the exotic specialties and discovering its unique culture. However, to be a WYD pilgrim was not as I imagined at all. WYD taught me that to be a pilgrim is to convert and offer sacrifices.
Yet, little by little, I gave up my unruliness and got myself accustomed to being a pilgrim. I came to realize that the beauty of prayer is revealed to me through meditation. I learned to listen attentively and savour slowly each and every word of the prayers. The pondering time I shared with God helped me reflect on my sins and wrongdoings. These reflections enlightened my mind and strengthened my will. I became more aware of how my actions might influence others.
To be honest, I am a rebellious type and do not like to “lose my freedom of movement” due to group activities. For instance, after the prayers of each day, despite physical tiredness, I did not want to just be idle for the rest of the day. So, when most of my companions hurried themselves to bed, I hoped to learn more about the city of Krakow and try more of its exotic food.
After meeting the Pope, hundreds of thousands of youngsters walked towards the town centre. After that event, all my companions were so exhausted that they returned to the dorms. Nonetheless, I asked our Group Leader about making a quick tour of the city. For two hours, I looked around and took many photos like a little kid. I also enjoyed a delicious Polish dinner. In my view, if I came all the way from Taiwan to Europe, I better learn about the place as much as I can and not waste time. Unfortunately, on my way back to the dorm, the bus broke down. I asked directions from the local people of Krakow and I finally arrived to our Residence close to midnight. Thanks to this experience, the local transport system became so familiar to me that I could return to the Residence safe and sound wherever I went.
Besides getting to know more about God, I met many people during the WYD. Due to the small number of Taiwanese pilgrims (there were only five of us!), we teamed up with the pilgrims from Shanghai. In the dorm, we met people from Hong Kong, Macau and Korea, so we formed a large group of East Asians. Interestingly though, there were great differences among East Asians from different regions. For instance, the Hong Kongers were warm and amicable. They were quick to initiate conversations with everyone, regardless of gender or race. The Shanghainese were religious, all so committed serving Our Lord. They were extremely dedicated in areas concerning spiritual formation. In comparison, the people of Macau were less talkative, but their thoughtfulness was shown in detailed planning and guided actions. Their effort allowed our group to run smoothly. Last but not least, the Koreans are practical experimenters, being the earliest to leave and the last to return to the Residence. They were always ready to explore and could be out of sight within seconds. Yet, no matter where we were from, we had one common identity: We were all Catholics. We gathered together in the name of Christ, just like a family.
Apart from the Asians, many WYD participants were from European countries; Spaniards, Italians and French were the majority. These participants made me realise the importance of languages. What can we do when the Spaniards were praising the Pope, the Italians were clapping and the French were singing la Marseillaise? Even if I do not share a common cultural background with the Europeans, I am able to use English as a medium of communication. Being with the Europeans ignited my interest in learning foreign languages. Talking to Spanish friends, I learned that Philosophy was a compulsory subject in their high school. Philosophy investigates the root of all things. Without it, Chemistry nor Physics would not exist, because Philosophy gave rise to the spirit of investigation.
Moreover, I have a teammate who speaks Chinese, English, Italian, Spanish, and German at only 16 years old. He may not know much about Natural Sciences nor Social Sciences yet. However, he was able to easily fit into different groups of people and make friends with foreigners. He does not need to worry about his future as the languages he speaks already gives him a strong foundation for success (he might even be the best non-official diplomat of the country)! Through WYD, we learned that knowing other languages is extremely useful, as they play an important role in making friends, communication and interaction. Needless to say, English is important in Europe. It is a pity that I can not even speak it well!
I believe that, like many others, young people who went to WYD, attending weekly Mass and praying devoutly are already the greatest demonstrations of our Catholic Faith. Before joining WYD, I did not understand what we do during Catholic ceremonies. I rarely went to Confession. I questioned God. I even doubted whether I truly believe in His Church. Having heard all my questions, God showed me through WYD, what faith is.
St Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, said that d aily you receive the Holy Communion, but you don’t even know when to kneel. I have gained so much from this pilgrimage than from many camps and doctrine classes. I learned more not only about God and His Holy Church, but also about prayer and pilgrimage. I finally start to discover its meaning.
Pope Francis hopes that young people gather together. He prayed and consecrated us during a Mass for our unity. Furthermore, His Holiness celebrated WYD 2016 in Krakow, Poland, with hopes of sharing a “merciful and adventurous” heart with the youth.
We also met the Prelate of Opus Dei (Bishop Echevarria) in a get-together. According to him, everything starts small; anything that is born huge, is monstrous. As a tiny Church prospers into a diocese over time, youngsters get to know God little by little. I am confident that all of us will grow to discover more about God. The Church places her hope on young people who will be her future pillars, and World Youth Day is a glimmer of hope.

Jerome Mao is a first year student of Architecture in the Chung Yuan Christian University. He lives in Hsin-tien District, New Taipei City, Taiwan.
<![CDATA[Prayer]]> We offer the prayer for Saint Josemaría’s intercession in English and in other languages, and new translations will be added shortly.

- English
- Download the prayercard in mp3 audio

It can be downloaded in PDF format in:

- Afrikaans
- Albanian
- Aranais (Vall de Aran, Catalunya)
- Western Armenian
- Eastern Armenian
- Ateso (Kenya)
- Bahasa Indonesia
- Basque
- Bengali
- Bulgarian
- Catalan
- Cebuano (Binisaya / Visayan, Philippines)
- Chinese
- Chinese Traditional
- Croatian
- Czech
- Danish
- Dholuo (Kenya) (back cover)
- Dutch (The Netherlands)
- English
- Estonian
- Finnish
- French
- Gaelic (Ireland)
- Galician
- German
- Greek
- Hindi
- Hungarian
- Igbo (Nigeria)
- Ilonggo (Hiligaynon) (Philippines)
- Italian
- Japanese
- Kazakh, (back cover)
- Kichwa (Ecuador)
- Kikamba (Kenya) (back cover)
- Kisii (Kenya) (back cover)
- Kikuyu (Kenya) (back cover)
- Kipsigis (Kenya) (back cover)
- Kiswahili
- Konkani (India)
- Korean
- Lari (Congo)
- Latin
- Latvian (Latvia)
- Lesotho
- Lithuanian
- Luganda (Uganda) (back cover)
- Luhyia (Kenya) (back cover)
- Malayalam (India)
- Maltese
- Mapuche, Chile
- Marathi (India)
- Norwegian
- Polishi
- Portuguese
- Quechua (Peru)
- Romanian
- Romansch
- Russian
- Rutooro (Uganda)
- Scottish Gaelic
- Singhalese (Sri Lanka)
- Slovak
- Slovenian
- Spanish
- Swedish
- Tagalog (Philippines)
- Tamil (India)
- Thai
- Turkish
- Ukrainian
- Vietnamese
- Welsh
- Xhosa (South Africa)
- Yoruba (Nigeria)
- Zulu]]>
<![CDATA[Rest]]> I have always seen rest as time set aside from daily tasks, never as days of idleness.
Rest means recuperation: to gain strength, form ideals and make plans. In other words it means a change of occupation, so that you can come back later with a new impetus to your daily job.
Furrow, 514

The example of Jesus
Whenever we get tired — in our work, in our studies, in our apostolic endeavours — when our horizon is darkened by lowering clouds, then let us turn our eyes to Jesus, to Jesus who is so good, and who also gets tired; to Jesus who is hungry and suffers thirst. Lord, how well you make yourself understood! How lovable you are! You show us that you are just like us, in everything but sin, so that we can feel utterly sure that, together with you, we can conquer all our evil inclinations, all our faults. For neither weariness nor hunger matter, nor thirst, nor tears... since Christ also grew weary, knew hunger, was thirsty, and wept. What is important is that we struggle to fulfil the will of our heavenly Father, battling away good-heartedly, for Our Lord is always at our side (cf. Jn 4:34).
Friends of God, 201

Cheerfulness, and supernatural and human optimism, can go hand in hand with physical tiredness, with sorrow, with tears (because we have a heart), and with difficulties in our interior life or our apostolic work.
He who is perfectus Deus, perfectus Homo — perfect God and perfect Man — and who enjoyed every happiness in Heaven, chose to experience fatigue and tiredness, tears and suffering... so that we might understand that if we are to be supernatural we must also be very human.
The Forge, 290

Setting to work again
You must fight against the tendency to be too lenient with yourselves. Everyone has this difficulty. Be demanding with yourselves! Sometimes we worry too much about our health, or about getting enough rest. Certainly it is necessary to rest, because we have to tackle our work each day with renewed vigour. But, as I wrote many years ago, ‘to rest is not to do nothing. It is to turn our attention to other activities that require less effort.’
Friends of God, 62

Seeking God in our rest
Why don’t you try converting your whole life into the service of God — your work and your rest, your tears and your smiles?
You can... and you must!
The Forge, 679

Strive never to lose this supernatural outlook, not even at times of rest or recreation, which are as important in our daily lives as is work itself.
Friends of God, 10

Setting a good example
Constantly call to mind that at every moment you are cooperating in the human and spiritual formation of those around you, and of all souls — for the blessed Communion of Saints reaches as far as that. At every moment: when you work and when you rest; when people see you happy or when they see you worried; when at your job, or out in the street, you pray as does a child of God and the peace of your soul shows through; when people see that you have suffered, that you have wept, and you smile.
The Forge, 846

With our Lady’s help
So your strength is fast failing you? Why don’t you say to your Mother, ‘comforter of the afflicted, help of Christians... our hope, Queen of apostles’?
The Way, 515]]>
<![CDATA[A job for my daughter]]> I would like to testify that, thank God, through St Josemaria’s intercession, when we finished a novena my daughter got the job she was praying for so much. Blessed and praised be Thou O Lord for hearing my prayer! Thank you for your intercession, St Josemaria! Pray through St Josemaria’ s intercession, have faith!]]> <![CDATA[A grant]]> I have been praying to God through St. Josemaria’s intercession for some time to get a scholarship in an important institution which offered the chance of a challenging career. In 2010 I applied to it without success. I carried on praying and in 2015 sent an application for a fresh chance. At the start I was turned down – the panel was against me and objected to certain points in my application. I began saying one novena after another to St. Josemaria to obtain the scholarship, and made a new attempt, writing an appeal to be reconsidered. On the fourth day of my seventh novena, the feast of the Visitation, I received an e-mail telling me I had been awarded the scholarship. Thank you, St. Josemaria!

<![CDATA[Work]]> I spent about three years looking for work, but unsuccessfully. On the internet I found the novena to St. Joseph and one to St. Josemaria. After less than a month of praying, I obtained the job I wanted. These saints never let us down. Thank you, God!]]> <![CDATA[Loving our Lady]]> Video. St. Josemaria explains how we should love Mary, the Mother of God- with the simplicity, tenderness, and confidence of children..]]> <![CDATA[1938.8.18]]> Over the years St Josemaría directed many spiritual retreats for priests, religious, men and women and young people. On this date he began giving a [...]]]> <![CDATA[St Josemaria Official Twitter Account]]> Tweets by @St_Josemaria !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");]]>