During the months of August and September, 2004, the review of Christian anthropology and culture Humanitas, published by the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, organized a course entitled “Witnesses of the Twentieth Century, Teachers of the Twenty-First Century.” The seven sessions dealt with the life and work of persons who had been canonized or beatified and who, through their teaching, their participation in the life of the Church and their path in life, had become true teachers for men and women of the third millennium. The speakers, among whom were the Apostolic Nuncio, Cardinal Jorge Medina, and other bishops, emphasized the spirituality of these teachers and the example of their life of identification with Christ for people today.
Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez of San Bernardo, Chile, in his talk on Saint Josemaría Escrivá, stressed three aspects of his message that, he said, are essential for these times: the universal call to holiness, love for the Church and the Pope, and love for freedom, with its consequent responsibility, in the professional, family, and social activity of the baptized.
Under the title San Josemaría Escrivá. Enamorado de Dios, apasionado por la vida (Saint Josemaría Escrivá: a man in love with God and enthusiastic about life), a company in Spain called 101rpm has put on sale a DVD containing abundant audiovisual material (three hours in length) about the founder of Opus Dei.
The DVD includes a sketch of his life and his canonization in Rome, segments from his get-togethers with hundreds of people in various countries in the ’seventies, testimonies from people who knew him, and a description of the miracles that were approved for his beatification and canonization, as described by their protagonists. The DVD also includes a sample of the various educational, social and cultural activities that people of all walks of life, animated by the teachings of Opus Dei’s founder, are carrying out throughout the world, and two series of photographs on his life and reputation for holiness. Most of this material has been provided by Beta Films.
Throughout 2004 some 30 public presentations of the DVD have been held in various Spanish cities and 40,000 copies have been distributed to date.
A small book containing passages from the writings of Saint Josemaría has been published for the use of pilgrims traveling along the “Camino de Santiago” to Santiago de Compostella. The book by Santiago Climent seeks to help pilgrims to pray as they walk along the “way of Santiago.” Its title is Hacer el Camino (Traveling Along the Way). Fifty thousand copies have been printed in Spanish and five thousand in Portuguese, French, Galician (the language of the area where the shrine is located), and English.
A ceremony marking the naming of a street in Naples in honor of Saint Josemaría Escrivá was held on October 2, in the presence of Coadjutor Bishop Gennaro Pascarella of Pozzuoli, who blessed the street, Mayor Rosa Russo Iervolino, and Msgr. Lucio Norbedo, the Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in Italy.
A large crowd made up mostly of families with children attended the ceremony. The street is located in the Pianura district, on the northern outskirts of Naples. An image of Saint Josemaría and another of Our Lady of Guadalupe will soon be installed at a site along the street.
The first dual language edition of Holy Rosary in Swahili and English has been published by Scepter Ltd., with a printing of 5,000 copies. In August 2004 the first edition of The Way was published in Tigrigna, a language spoken in Eritrea. 1,500 copies were printed.
The Warsaw publishing company Pax published a Polish translation of the book What is Opus Dei? by Dominique Le Tourneau under the title Czym jest Opus Dei? It contains a straightforward description of the nature of Opus Dei, with special attention to its juridical aspects.
On the occasion of the Eucharistic Year, Apostolicum publishers in Warsaw has put out a book entitled Sw. Josemaríi Escrivá o Eucharystii. The book includes two homilies of Saint Josemaría on the Eucharist: “The Eucharist: a Mystery of Faith and Love,” and “On the Feast of Corpus Christi,” with an introduction by the Prelate of Opus Dei. Special editions of these two homilies have been published in other countries as well. And in Vienna, the Church of St. Peter (Rektoratskirche St. Peter) has put out an audio-CD with the two homilies in German, read by an actor, Michael König, of the Vienna Burgtheater.
Auxiliary Bishop Manuel Clement of Lisbon, speaking on public television in Portugal, gave a sketch of the life of the founder of Opus Dei, emphasizing the importance of his message for the discovery of Christian secularity. Saint Josemaría was featured in six programs beginning on October 21. Each of the programs consisted of a brief interview conducted by the director of Agencia Ecclesia, Paulo Rocha.
Romana, No. 39, July-December 2004, p. 239-241.