Hose Maria Eskriva

Hose Maria Eskriva

Saint, founder of Opus Dei
Date of Birth: 09.01.1902
Country: Spain

  1. Biography of Jose Maria Escrivá
  2. In Rome
  3. Inclusion of Father Escrivá in the ranks of the saints

Holy founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaría Escrivá, opened a new path to holiness in the Catholic Church.

St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei, opened a new path to holiness in the Catholic Church. He reminded Christians that all people can attain holiness if they carry out their work and daily activities in a Christian spirit.

Biography of Jose Maria Escrivá

Jose Maria (Josemaría) Escrivá de Balaguer was born in Barbastro, Huesca, Spain, on January 9, 1902. He was one of six children of Jose and Dolores Escrivá, who gave their children a truly Christian upbringing.

In 1915, Josemaría's father, a fabric trader, went bankrupt. Josemaría had to move to Logroño, where he found a different occupation. It was in this city that he first felt his vocation. Seeing the footprints of a barefooted monk in the snow, he realized that God was expecting something from him, although he did not yet know what his mission would be. Josemaría concluded that becoming a priest would help him better understand God's will for him. He prepared for the priesthood in Logroño and then at the Zaragoza seminary. As a non-degree student, he also studied law at the secular University.

After the death of his father in 1924, Josemaría became the head of the family. He was ordained a priest on March 28, 1925. He initially served in a rural parish and later in Zaragoza. In 1927, with his bishop's permission, he moved to Madrid to defend his doctoral dissertation in law. It was there, on October 2, 1928, during a period of prayer and solitude, that he had a revelation of God's will and founded Opus Dei. He immediately began working, without neglecting his priestly duties, which he mostly performed among the sick and the poor. He also studied at the University of Madrid and gave lectures to support his family. Josemaría was in Madrid when the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936. Persecution of the Church forced him into hiding, constantly changing safe houses. He continued his underground ministry until he managed to escape from Madrid. After crossing the Pyrenees, he settled in Burgos. Following the end of the war in 1939, he returned to Madrid, where he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in law. In the following years, Josemaría Escrivá provided spiritual guidance to laypeople, priests, and monks.

In Rome

In 1946, he established himself in Rome. He successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in theology at the Lateran University. He was appointed as a consultant to two Vatican congregations, an honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, and an honorary prelate of His Holiness. He closely followed the work of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and interacted with many of the participating fathers. From Rome, he frequently traveled throughout Europe, laying the foundations for Opus Dei's activities or promoting its growth. With the same purpose, he made long trips to Mexico, Spain, Portugal, South America, and Guatemala between 1970 and 1975, during which he conducted catechetical meetings with a large number of people.

Josemaría Escrivá passed away in Rome on June 26, 1975. Thousands of people, including many bishops from different countries (more than one-third of the world's bishops), appealed to the Holy See to initiate the canonization process of Josemaría Escrivá.

Inclusion of Father Escrivá in the ranks of the saints

On May 17, 1992, Pope John Paul II declared Father Josemaría blessed in St. Peter's Square in Rome, in the presence of 300,000 people gathered for this occasion. "Inspired by divine enlightenment," the Pope said in his homily, "Blessed Josemaría tirelessly preached the universal call to holiness and apostolate."

On October 6, 2002, Pope John Paul II declared Father Josemaría a saint.