Photos: Saint Josemaría Escrivá, 1902-1975
A photographic chronicle of the life of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, the founder Opus Dei.
1. Saint Josemaría Escrivá was born in 1902 in Barbastro (Spain). At the age of 16, he began to sense that God was asking something special of him. He was not sure what it was, but understood that he needed to be ordained as a priest. This photograph was taken when he was 19.
2. He studied in the Zaragoza seminary and was ordained in 1925. After the death of his father, he became responsible for providing for his family, and they moved to Madrid. During this time, he continued to sense in his prayer that God was asking something more of him. In this photo from the Zaragoza seminary, he is pictured at the right.
3. On October 2, 1928, while on a retreat in the church in the photograph, God gave him the idea of Opus Dei. That day he saw in a new way that "holiness is not just for a select few: God calls everyone to holiness."
4. From then on, Saint Josemaría began to carry out pastoral work with young laypersons, "praying and teaching them to pray." This photograph shows him with Spanish university students who were helping him spread the message of Opus Dei.
5. The Spanish civil war (1936-1939) forced Saint Josemaría to flee Madrid. He traveled through Andorra and France to Burgos (Spain), where the Church was not persecuted. In Burgos he continued his work of spreading Opus Dei. This photograph shows him in Andorra with his traveling companions.
6. In 1946, he moved to Rome, to facilitate the spread of Opus Dei to other countries.
7. All the Popes who have known Opus Dei, from Pius XII to Benedict XVI, have supported and blessed it. This photograph shows Saint Josemaría with Paul VI.
8. Beginning in 1970, Saint Josemaría made trips to Spain, Portugal and a number of South American countries. He spoke at many gatherings with all kinds of people, talking about God, giving them spiritual counsel, and answering questions about the faith.
9. He died on June 26, 1975, in Rome. Devotion to Saint Josemaría spread rapidly, and people from all around the world came to his tomb to pray. His remains are under the altar at Our Lady of Peace Prelatic Church in Rome.
10. After studying the life and writings of the founder of Opus Dei, the Church officially declared that he had lived with "heroic virtue." John Paul II canonized him on October 6, 2002, in Saint Peter Square in Rome.
March 11, 2014