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No. 37 • July - December 2003 • Page 64
 •  About saint Josemaría

First anniversary of the canonization of Josemaria

On the first anniversary of the canonization of the founder of Opus Dei, Masses of thanksgiving were celebrated on and around October 6 in cities throughout the world.

In the Cathedral of Medellin, Colombia, Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo celebrated Mass with eleven priests of the Archdiocese as concelebrants, among them the rector of the Archdiocesan Major Seminary, Fr. Luis Javier Uribe, and the rector of Redemptoris Mater Seminary, Fr. Oriel Blanco.

In another part of Colombia, in Manizales, a Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated by Archbishop Fabio Betancur Tirado in the parish of the Immaculate Conception, on October 10. In his homily, he invited the faithful to courageously take up the challenge presented by the Holy Father in St. Peter’s Square on October 6, 2002: “Bring the world to God and transform it from within.”

In Ecuador, on October 6, two Masses of Thanksgiving for the canonization of St. Josemaría were celebrated. One was held in the oratory of Los Pinos high school, in Quito, celebrated by Archbishop Emeritus Juan Larrea Holguin of Guayaquil, along with Msgr. Paulino Busca, Regional Vicar of the Prelature of Opus Dei in Ecuador, and Father Florentino Rodriguez, previous Regional Vicar of the Prelature. In his homily, Archbishop Larrea stressed that “the new saint illumines the path of those who by divine vocation are called seek the fullness of the Christian life, the greatest possible realization of our baptismal commitments, in the midst of the world.” He recalled the statement of Pope John Paul II, who undoubtedly in future will be seen as one of the outstanding figures in the history of the Church: “St. Josemaría was chosen by God to proclaim the universal call to sanctity and to show that everyday life, ordinary activities, are a path of sanctification.” The other Mass in Guayaquil was presided over by Archbishop Antonio Arregui of Guayaquil, in the church of St. Josemaría.

In India, Bishop Kuriakose Kunnacherry, of the diocese of Kottayam in Kerala, of the Malabarese rite, celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving in the Cathedral of Christ the King, with several hundred faithful in attendance. On October 2 a solemn Mass was also celebrated in the Cathedral of New Delhi. The principal celebrant was Archbishop Vincent Concessao.

On Tuesday, October 16 a solemn Eucharistic concelebration was presided over by Archbishop Fernand Franck in the Cathedral of Luxembourg. Concelebrating with him were the Regional Vicars of the Prelature of Opus Dei in Belgium and Germany, Fr. Emmanuel Cabello and Msgr. Christoph Bockamp, as well as Fr. Josef Arquer.

The Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, celebrated a solemn Mass in the parish of St. Pantaleon in honor of St. Josemaría for a large congregation of faithful. The Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in Germany and the pastor of the parish, Fr. Peter v. Steinitz, concelebrated with him. In his homily, the Cardinal stressed that we all have to renew our faith, since it can become jaded over time. “Opus Dei’s holy founder, Josemaría Escrivá, will help us to believe with renewed strength: to sentire cum Deo, in prayer; to sentire cum Christo, in charity with our sisters and brothers; and to sentire cum Ecclesia, in looking devoutly to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

In the Church of Notre-Dame in Geneva, Auxiliary Bishop Pierre Farine officiated along with the Regional Vicar of the Prelature, Fr. Peter Rutz, and two other priests. Following the Gospel, the Bishop commented extensively on the meaning of divine filiation and spiritual childhood, which so marked the interior life of St. Josemaría. Also in Switzerland, Bishop Amédée Grab of Coira celebrated a solemn Mass of thanksgiving in the Liebfrauenkirche in Zürich. Concelebrating with him were the Vicar of Opus Dei and six other priests. Noting the difficulties that every work of God has historically encountered in getting underway, Bishop Grab underlined the affection of the Pope and of innumerable bishops for Opus Dei, precisely because they see in it a school of holiness for all the baptized.

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