St. Josemaria Escriva: The Smiling Saint

BACOLOD CITY, June 21 (PNA) — Many Filipinos love images of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and of many other saints.

You simply have to enter a church any day or join a procession during a town fiesta or any church festivity.

In Bacolod City, when you enter the churches of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sta. Clara, Immaculate Conception, or Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Chapel, you will find an image of a saint that perhaps might make you wonder “Who is this priest smiling at me?”

That priest is St. Josemaria Escriva.

St. Josemaria was born in Barbastro, Spain, in 1902.

In 1928 he founded Opus Dei, an institution in the Catholic Church which aims to spread the universal call to holiness through the fulfilment of work and duties of daily life.

Blessed Pope John Paul II declared St. Josemaria Escriva a Saint in 2002.

The Pope said in St Josemaria’s canonization that the Founder of Opus Dei “was chosen by the Lord to proclaim the universal call to holiness and to indicate that everyday life, its customary activities are a path towards holiness. It could be said that he was the saint of the ordinary.

He was really convinced that, for whoever lives with an outlook of faith, everything offers an opportunity for a meeting with God, everything becomes a stimulus for prayer.

Seen in that way, daily life reveals an unsuspected greatness.

Holiness is really put on everyone’s doorstep.”

From the day of St. Josemaria’s death on June 26, 1975, many accounts of favors from all over the world attributed to his miraculous intercession have arrived at the Opus Dei Prelature headquarters in Rome.

Conversions, resolutions to live the Christian faith more deeply, medical cures, jobs or a new career, practical favors – all indicators of devotion which the Holy See called “an authentic expression of popular piety.”

Saints spend their lives in this world loving God and other people, imitating Jesus Christ who “went about doing good.”

And when they get to heaven, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church says (no. 2683), they “constantly care for those whom they have left on earth… Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.”

Plenty of people first started praying through Saint Josemaría’s intercession after finding a prayer-card, often by chance.

The Church will celebrate the liturgical feast of St. Josemaria Escriva on June 26.

In Bacolod City His Excellency Bishop Vicente Navarra will celebrate the Mass in San Sebastian Cathedral on June 22, 2013, at 9 a.m.

The celebration of the life and feast day of St. Josemaria Escriva is a perfect opportunity to reignite and deepen our faith.

For more details about St Josemaria’s life and teachings visit the official website of Opus Dei in and in St. Josemaria’s website in (PNA)



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