On April 25, in Mlawa, Poland, the solemn ceremony of consecration of the chapel dedicated to St. Josemaría in the city’s new high school was held. Mlawa is thus the second Polish city to have a sacred place dedicated to the founder of Opus Dei. The first was Morzyca. The ceremony took place in the presence of a large audience (teachers, students and their families) presided over by Auxiliary Bishop Roman Marcinkowski of Plock. The promoter and first president of the high school, Fr. Roman Jankowski, asked the bishop for permission to have the chapel dedicated to St. Josemaría. A painting by the artist Malgorzata Wrochna, showing Opus Dei’s founder surrounded by children of various races, presides over the chapel.
Other recent editions of books by St. Josemaría include: Christ Is Passing By (audio book), first Mexican audio edition; Passionately Loving the World, published in Guatemala City with a printing of 1,000 copies. Also, the informative bulletin on the canonization has been published in the Estonian and Czech languages.
On May 20, a new interactive CD-Rom for children went on sale in the collection entitled “Al encuentro de los amigos de Jesús” (“Meeting Jesus’ friends”). In this multimedia material, children can find a simple summary of St. Josemaría’s life, together with various games that teach them the prayers he prayed at their age and ways of living the virtues right from their early years. The elementary school teacher, Rosana Muñoz, author of the collection, which includes the lives of other 20th century saints, sees it as an effective way to teach children to be true friends of Jesus in their daily lives.
The first biography of St. Josemaría in the Slovenian language is a translation of the book written in Italian by the journalist Andrea Tornielli, Escrivá, Fondatore dell’Opus Dei, published on the occasion of the canonization of St. Josemaría on October 6, 2002. The work, based on testimonies and other documents from the process of canonization, includes numerous quotations from the saint that reflect the spirit of Opus Dei.
The book was presented to the public at the offices of the Druzina publishing company, producer of the Slovenian translation. After words from the publisher, Fr. Feliu Torra, Vicar of the Prelature of Opus Dei in Slovenia, expressed his gratitude to all those who had made possible the publication of the book, only a half year after the first faithful of the Work arrived in Ljubljana.
Ricardo Estarriol, Vienna correspondent for La Vanguardia, stressed the importance of the lay faithful participating in public and social life, with the same duties and rights as any other citizen, and with the intention of contributing to the common good of society, in accord with the Gospel teachings of truth and love.
Finally, Dr. Anna Francesconi, spoke about how a doctor who is also the mother of a family, lives the spirit of Opus Dei.
The publishing house of the Marian Fathers (MIC) has published the book Alvaro del Portillo, O Zalozycielu Opus Dei, an interview with the first Prelate of Opus Dei about his predecessor, St. Josemaría Escrivá, by Cesare Cavalleri (English title Immersed in God). The printing was of 2,000 copies. Presentation of the book took place during the Catholic Book fair celebrated in Warsaw during Easter Week. Taking part in the ceremony were Jaroslaw Sellin, a member of the National Council of Polish television; Pawel Zuchniewicz, a well-known journalist; and Father Stefan Moszoro, the first Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in Poland.
The publishing houses Ksiegarnia sw.Jacka, of Katowice, and Apostolicum of Warsaw have jointly published a new edition of Rozaniec swiete–Droga Krzyzowa (Holy Rosary–The Way of the Cross) of St. Josemaría. The new edition contains for the first time the Polish translation of the commentaries on the Mysteries of Light, taken from various writings of the founder of Opus Dei. The printing totaled 5,000 copies.
Before a large audience, in the Leopoldo Lugones Hall of the Book Fair, the first Argentinian edition of the book El Fundador del Opus Dei by Andres Vazquez de Prada, was presented to the public by the publisher, Ediciones Homely. A discussion of the book took place, with Father Patricio Olmos and Drs. Paola Delbosco and Cristina Viñuela contributing.
Fr. Olmos, Regional Vicar of Opus Dei, pointed out in reference to St. Josemaría Escrivá: “One mustn’t think that the divine ideal that he saw, incarnated and communicated was something for supermen or superwomen. It is an ideal meant for all men and women, for we are all called to work, and all upright jobs, no matter how apparently humble, can be sanctified.”
Dr. Paola Delbosco emphasized some aspects of the saint’s childhood, describing him as “a normal child, with a character inclined to generosity and to contemplation, who grew into a young man whose basic characteristic was abandonment to the action of God—not in a passive way, but in an active availability to do God’s will.”
Why should one read this biography of St. Josemaría?, Dr. Viñuela asked. “I would like to answer this question,” she said, “in the framework of the Apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte. There Christ, through his Vicar on earth, exhorts us: Put out into the deep. ‘The missionary mandate accompanies us into the Third Millennium and urges us to share the enthusiasm of the very first Christians’ (no. 58). So let us set out. We need to acquire the virtues demanded by ‘the high seas,’ virtues that help us to live our faith and to be daring in love.”
• • •
The Torreciudad Board of Patrons has edited a new book entitled Semblanzas aragonesas de San Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer (An Aragonese Sketch of St. Josemaría Escrivá). The book consists of seven chapters and almost a hundred photographs, in addition to seventeen short testimonies and a documentary appendix. The foreword is written by Bishop Javier Echevarría, Prelate of Opus Dei.
The first two chapters, written by the historian, Martín Ibarra, deal with Saint Josemaría’s childhood and his stay at the seminary of Saragossa. José Orlandis, a former professor at the University of Saragossa, recalls in chapter three some moments that he spent with the founder of Opus Dei and the founder’s stay in Saragossa in 1951.
Manuel Garrido, a journalist, wrote chapter four, entitled “of St. Josemaría’s correspondence with people in Aragon.” Fr. Fernando Mendoza, a canon of the Basilica of the Pillar, wrote chapter five: “The Aragonese Marian devotion of St. Josemaría Escrivá.” A lawyer, Ascensión Forniés, is the author of chapter six: “The Apostolic Work of Opus Dei in Aragon: some aspects of the early days (1940-1951).” In chapter seven, Joaquin Mantecón, as the Commissioner of the Centennial of Josemaría Escrivá in Aragón, describes the various stages of that event.
The section of testimonies gathers seventeen contributions from a wide variety of people. Most of them are from people who knew the founder of Opus Dei personally. An abundant documentary appendix follows, and the book closes with a photographic album that includes about a hundred pictures connected with the life of Opus Dei’s founder.
Romana, No. 38, January-June 2004, p. 73-76.