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Holiness and the World

On November 16, in Oporto, Portugal, the Antonio Cupertino de Miranda Foundation held a symposium entitled “Holiness and the world.” The President of the Supreme Court, Aragão Seia, opened the symposium, whose purpose was to reflect on the message of Saint Josemaría with regard to the role of Christians in sanctifying the world from within.

Maria Luísa Couto Soares, professor of philosophy at the New University of Lisbon, spoke on Josemaría Escrivá's high valuation of the world and ordinary life. In her address “Sanctity and ordinary life,” she pointed out that “in opposition to the boredom syndrome that Chateaubriand called the evil of the century, Saint Josemaría told us that there is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each of us to discover it.”

Fr. Jorge Margarido Correia, a theologian, took up the topic of divine filiation in relation to the meaning that today’s culture gives to paternity. Jose Maria André, a professor at the Institute of Technology, pointed out that in Saint Josemaría’s message “one can speak of a Christian materialism that is opposed to materialisms contrary to the spirit, because the invisible God manifests himself in the most visible and material things.” He also stressed how important it was that this period in history “give to matter and to the most common daily situations their original noble meaning.”

The symposium ended with an address on “Freedom and responsibility” by Eduardo Lucas Coelho, the associate Procurator General. He emphasized that “responsible freedom is a concept closely tied to values, and requires following the dictates of a rightly-formed conscience.”

Romana, No. 35, July-December 2002, p. 347.