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. 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.
It may seem surprising that a little thing like some footprints in the snow was enough to make a teenager take the great decision to give his life to God. But that is the language God often uses to call people, and that is how generous souls who seek God sincerely are capable of responding, with faith.
Why am I becoming a priest? Our Lord wants something: what is it? And in Latin — not very elegant Latin — … I kept repeating Domine, ut videam! Ut sit! Ut sit! The thing that you want, and that I don’t know — make it happen!”
Among the poor, the sick, and the children, he sought the strength needed to set in motion the immense project that God had placed on his shoulders that day. It was a school of suffering where his soul would be tempered to its mission.
“I was 26, had God’s grace and good humor and nothing else. And I had to do Opus Dei”. It was October 2, 1928, the feast of the Guardian Angels. Father Josemaría would never forget the sound of the church bells… He was doing a retreat during these first few days of October.
After escaping to the other side of Spain and staying briefly in Pamplona, St Josemaria settled in Burgos. From there, in conditions of great deprivation, in a country devastated by war, he carried out an intense apostolate.
“Do you know why the Work has developed so much? Because it’s been treated like a sack of wheat; it’s been beaten and battered about. But the seeds are so small that they haven’t broken. On the contrary, they’ve been scattered to the four winds...” Hence the Father’s joy when he discovered the canonical way for married people to join Opus Dei.
Between 1946 and 1960 Opus Dei began its apostolate in several new countries, including Portugal, Italy, Great Britain, France, Ireland, the US, Kenya, and Japan. These were years of physical suffering. The Father’s diabetes was the cause of great discomfort: he lived with a constant headache, suffered chronic thirst, and gained too much weight, in addition to the other problems that can arise in connection with this illness.
On January 25, 1959, on hearing that an ecumenical council had been convened, the founder of Opus Dei welcomed the news with great hope and asked everyone to pray “for the happy outcome of this great initiative of an ecumenical council.”