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Paris, France. Colloquium at the Grenelle Forum

On Saturday, February 2, a conference entitled «Sanctification of Ordinary Work, a Message for our Time» was held, with about four hundred people in attendance.

After an historical sketch by Yves-Marie Hilaire, professor emeritus at the University of Lille, on the emergence of the Catholic laity in Europe during the 20th century, Cyrille Michon, professor of philosophy at the Sorbonne, discussed Blessed Josemaria’s teaching on «the greatness of ordinary life» in connection with several 19th and 20th century philosophers and painters of the Flemish school.

Paul Olivier, professor of philosophy of the Lycée Massena of Nice, developed the theme of divine filiation, so central to the life of Blessed Josemaria. Mireille Heers, titular professor at the Strasbourg Institute of Political Studies, spoke on «the freedom of the children of God» in the works of Josemaria Escriva. Finally Jean-Luc Chabot, a professor at the University of Grenoble, emphasized various aspects of the Church’s social doctrine in the thought and apostolic activity of the founder of Opus Dei.

The conference sessions were presided over by Bishop Fortunato Baldelli, Apostolic Nuncio in France, and by Bishop Olivier de Berranger of Saint-Dennis, president of the Social Committee of the French Bishops Conference. In his presentation, Bishop Baldelli said that «Josemaria Escriva has made it clear that Jesus’ invitation, ‘If you wish to be perfect...,’ is not limited to a few but embraces all Christ’s disciples. It is what every baptized person should aspire to... .Blessed Josemaria was here a precursor of the Second Vatican Council, which insisted so much on the universal call to sanctity.»

Romana, No. 34, January-June 2002, p. 138.