Devotion Throughout the World
On March 19 in the church of St. Joseph in Szczecin, Poland, a painting of St. Josemaría was blessed, on the side altar of the church. Knowing the importance of the sacrament of Confession in Josemaría teaching, the artist Tadeusz Molga decided to show the saint in a confessional, at the moment of imparting absolution to a penitent. During the ceremony the suitability of this example during the Jubilee Year dedicated to Divine Mercy was stressed.
In Jasrowie, a city near Pila, Poland, on Easter Monday (which coincided this year with the priestly ordination of St. Josemaría) the church of St. Michael the Archangel solemnly received a relic of the founder of Opus Dei during a Mass celebrated by the regional vicar of the Prelature in Poland, Msgr. Stefan Moszoro-Dabrowski. A copy of the painting of St. Josemaría installed in Szczecin was also placed in the church.
São Paulo, Brazil
In Brazil, festive celebrations in honor of certain saints in the month of June are a long-standing tradition: St. Anthony, St. John the Baptist, Sts. Peter and Paul. These Festas Juninas, as they are known, are commemorated with special costumes, songs, bonfires, dances and typical dishes in schools, parishes, etc., and attract many people. This year, the parish of Nossa Senhora do Brasil, in São Paulo, included St. Josemaría in the list of these saints, given the widespread devotion to him among parishioners.
In the archdiocese of São Paulo, the television channel Ultrafarma decided to include the Novena to St. Josemaría for Work in its program Tiempo de Misericordia. The novena was broadcast from June 14 to 24, as a way of preparing for the feast of the founder of Opus Dei.
Also, on the initiative of the pastor of the Cathedral of Sáo Paulo, a 9-inch tall statue of St. Josemaría was produced so that the faithful could have it in their homes and workplaces. At the Mass in memory of St. Josemaría, many of those attending purchased these statues.
The Fraternity of la Macarena in Seville decided to leave permanent testimony to the Founder of Opus Dei’s prayer before the statue of Our Lady of Hope Macarena, on October 1, 1968, in the Basilica of the Fraternity. Therefore on June 24 a plaque was blessed and installed with a description of that visit “for its permanent remembrance.”
The ceremony was presided over by the Senior Brother, Manuel Garcia, accompanied by the vicar of Opus Dei for the delegation of Seville, Msgr. Ricardo Santiago, and other priests. In the homily of the Eucharistic celebration that preceded the blessing of the inscription, the priest theologian Antonio Aranda highlighted St. Josemaría’s love for our Lady, and recalled the Founder’s visit to la Macarena in 1968, when he traveled to Seville on what would be his eighth and next-to-last visit to the city.
On Sunday, June 26, after the Sunday Mass, the enthroning of a painting of St. Josemaría was held in a chapel of access to the parish church of Santa Engracia, in the diocese of Monterrey, Mexico. The parochial vicar, Ricardo Garduño, said that since St. Josemaría is the saint of the ordinary, the place was very suitable, since on leaving the church the faithful could go to him to ask him to accompany them in their daily work. Taking part in the ceremony were the pastor of Santa Engracia, Msgr. Hernán Zambrano and the vicar of the Prelature for Monterrey, Msgr. Carlos Núñez.
Gliaca di Piraino, Italy
On May 16, the elementary school in the Sicilian community of Gliaca di Piraino dedicated the first floor of the building to Blessed Pino Puglisi and the second floor to St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, two saints who, in the words of the school principal, are educators for our times, bearing positive messages of holiness and social commitment. The plaque dedicated to St. Josemaría has a citation from his book The Way. In the course of that day, the students had an opportunity to learn more about these two saints.
In May, the church of Santa Maria del Soccorso (Our Lady of Help), in Livorno, acquired a new triptych whose central panel is dedicated to our Lady. One of the sides represents St. Josemaría and Blessed Alvaro del Portillo. The other side has a picture of Blessed Pio Alberto Del Corona. The representatives of the committee that oversaw the artistic work pointed out that these three saints visited the city on various occasions to venerate the icon of Our Lady of Help.