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No. 53 • July - December 2011 • Page 281
 •  About saint Josemaría

Devotion around the world

A plaque

In the archbishop’s residence of Pamplona a plaque has been installed to recall the first retreat that St. Josemaría made after his crossing of the Pyrenees. The plaque reads: “In the month of December, 1937, after overcoming great suffering and danger during the religious persecution carried out in some parts of the country, through the unmistakable protection of our Lord and his most Holy Mother, St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer spent some days of retreat in this Chapel, welcomed with paternal affection by the Most Rev. Marcelino Olaechea, Bishop of Pamplona.” During those days the founder of Opus Dei received abundant graces that filled his heart with overflowing affection for the Holy Eucharist, as mentioned in point 438 of his book The Way. The content of this point is the following: “Mad! Yes, I saw you (in the bishop’s chapel, you thought you were alone) as you left a kiss on each newly-consecrated chalice and paten, so that he might find it there, when for the first time he would ‘come down’ to those Eucharistic vessels.”


A statue

In the parish of the Incarnation of our Lord, in Madrid, a statue of St. Josemaría has been venerated since last April. It is a wooden carving done by the Artemartinez religious art workshop, in Horche, Guadalajara.


Three bells

Shortly after the beatification of John Paul II, in May, three new bells were blessed in the baroque church of San Salvatore in Laura, in the historic central district of Rome. Each has been given the name of a contemporary saint, with a corresponding picture in bas-relief: Blessed John Paul II, St. Pius of Pietrelcina, and St. Josemaria Escrivá.


Dedication of public spaces

During these months, several Italian localities have commemorated the founder of Opus Dei by the dedication of a public space, as for example a square in Gizzeria (Calabria), a park in Messina, and a street in Milazzo (Sicily). A street has also been dedicated to St. Josemaria in Saragossa, the Spanish city where he received his priestly formation and the sacrament of Holy Orders.


The prayer card in new languages

The prayer card of St. Josemaria has been published in Bengali and Marathi, two of the official languages of India. It has also been published in Latin, the universal language of the Church. The translation of the prayer card into Mapuche, done by Professor Jeannette Paillao, was celebrated in the Chilean community of Chol Chol with a popular celebration that was reported on television. The prayer card of St. Josemaria can now be prayed in some sixty languages.


Other commemorations

On the fifth, sixth and seventh of August, the fortieth anniversary of St. Josemaria’s stay in Caglio, in the province of Lombardy, Italy, was commemorated. This is the site of the shrine of the Madonna di Campoe, where the commemorative acts took place. Father Valentino Viganò, pastor of the municipalities of Caglio, Sormano and Rezzago, wanted to celebrate the anniversary with a conference and video of St. Josemaria on Friday, the fifth, and with a photographic exposition on the saint on Saturday the sixth. The commemoration ended on August 7 with a Mass celebrated by Fr. Matteo Fabbri, Vicar of Opus Dei in Italy, in the ancient Romanesque shrine of the Villa Giuliani where St. Josemaria lodged in 1971. When the Mass was over, a plaque was unveiled at the entrance to the Villa, which recalls that in that house, the founder of the Work felt in his heart, as coming from our Lord, the words “Adeamus cum fiducia ad thronum gloriae ut misericordiam consequamur,” which filled him with peace in moments of interior and exterior difficulties.


The Moncloa University Residence, which was founded under the direct impetus of St. Josemaría in 1943, celebrated the third Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer Conference on the Arts. On this occasion it included the participation of the poet and professor Carmelo Guillén Acosta. In the previous conferences the writers Carlos Pujol and Blanca García-Valdecasas were principal speakers. These conferences, organized by the Foundation Moncloa 2000, aim to bring together well-known writers who are recognized for the quality of their literary work, and for its deep Christian and human meaning.

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