Saint of the day
St. Josemaría Escrivá
Josemaría Escrivá was born in Barbastro, Spain, on January 9, 1902. He was one of the six children of José Escrivá and Dolores Balaguer. After he graduated from high school, Josemaría studied law at Saragossa and received his doctorate in Madrid. Then he returned to Saragossa and entered the seminary. After he was ordained a priest on March 28, 1925, Josemaría continued his studies in Rome and earned a doctorate in theology.
Father Escrivá began his priestly ministry in country parishes. Later, he ministered to university students. He worked in the slums of Saragossa and Madrid, where he came into contact with people from every level of society. He recognized the need to bring the Christian message of faith and hope to the rich and poor, the educated and the simple. In order to fulfill this need, Father Escrivá started an association called Opus Dei, which means “the work of God” in Latin. It was an organization for people from all levels of social and professional life who wanted to live the Christian life more fully. Members of Opus Dei offer up the work they do each day in union with Jesus. In this way, they make their work, themselves, and others holy.
Father Escrivá traveled throughout Europe and Latin America bringing Opus Dei to people in other nations. He taught that everyone is called to live a holy life and to carry out a mission in the Church. He wrote many books on history and law, but his spiritual works were especially popular. His book, The Way, which was first published in 1934, has sold over four million copies in over forty languages!
Father Escrivá died suddenly on June 26, 1975, in Rome. At the time of his death, Opus Dei had spread to six continents with more than 60,000 members representing eighty nationalities.
Pope John Paul II canonized Father Josemaría Escrivá on October 6, 2002.
St. Josemaría Escrivá taught that the work we do in our everyday lives is a way to become closer to God. When we offer Jesus our schoolwork, our daily chores, and even our times of fun, our whole life becomes a prayer and a fulfillment of God’s will. This is what true holiness is.