When you wear your Josemaria Escriva medal necklace do you know the significance behind his sainthood? Josemaria Escriva was born in Spain in 1905. His parents were poor and hard-working. They taught Josemaria and his six brothers and sisters to love God and their fellow human beings. He became a priest. God chose him to found an organization of priests and lay people called Opus Dei. Opus Dei means ‘the work of God.’ Josemaria realized that everyone is called to holiness, not just priests and religious. The work of Opus Dei was to spread this message to all Christians and the whole world. Everyone can love God and everyone can be a saint simply by living their daily lives as best they can.
Josemaria and Opus Dei encountered many obstacles in their mission. During the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939) the Catholic Church was persecuted. But Opus Dei survived, and Josemaria went around the world spreading his message, bringing peace and hope to thousands of people.
He died in 1975 and was declared a saint by Pope St John Paul II in 1992. ‘Add a supernatural motive to your ordinary professional work’, Josemaria used to say, ‘and you will have sanctified it.’ He also said that a Christian who sincerely seeks to love God will be always cheerful, for they will have the peace of Christ in their hearts. Saint Josemaria’s feast day is 9n June 26.
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