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Conclusion of the Diocesan phase of the cause of canonization of Guadalupe Ortiz de Landazuri

The cause of canonization of Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri (1916-1975), chemist and researcher, was opened several years ago. On March 18, in the Zurbaran Student Residence in Madrid, where she had been the director, the ceremony concluding the diocesan instruction, the first phase of the process that the cause of the saints ordinarily follows, was brought to its conclusion. The ceremony was presided over by the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Antonio Rouco Varela, who on November 12, 2001 had opened the process at the request of the Prelature.

Throughout a hundred sessions, the tribunal examined the writings of Guadalupe, listened to the testimony of fifty-four witnesses who knew and dealt with her during her lifetime, and collected evidence that she lived the Christian virtues in a heroic manner. The resulting documentation is now being remitted to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri, one of the first women to ask for admission, joined Opus Dei on March 19, 1944. She worked in Spain, Mexico and Italy, carrying out an intense work of apostolate and social development with special attention to the problems of women. Her doctoral thesis in chemistry was entitled “Refractory insulation with rice husk ashes.” She taught in a number of educational institutions, including the Instituto Ramiro de Maeztu and the Women's School for Industrial Instructors, both in Madrid. In 1965 she received the Juan de la Cierva Research Prize.

In Mexico, she helped found several student residences and schools for farm women. In Rome, she assisted St. Josemaría Escrivá for several years in the central government of Opus Dei.

In the ceremony concluding the process, the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid noted that “what the life of this servant of God contributes to the Church and society of the 21st century is: femininity, professionalism and zeal for sanctity, lived in the world, seeking the welfare of women, without limiting her total and radical dedication to Christ in Opus Dei.” In connection with this last point, he recalled the impact on Dr. Landázuri of her first meeting with St. Josemaría on January 25, 1944: “it changed her life; she saw, after speaking with him, that God was asking everything of her.”

Two bulletins have been published about Dr. Ortiz de Landázuri. Recourse to her intercession is widespread, as is shown by the numerous favors attested to by signed statements, of which a hundred have been included in the documentation.

Romana, No. 40, January-June 2005, p. 134-135.