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Conclusion of the investigative phase of the canonization process of the Servant of God José María Hernández Garnica (March 17, 2009)

Auxiliary Bishop Cesar Franco Martínez of Madrid, concluded the diocesan phase of the process of canonization of the Servant of God José Maria Hernández Garnica (1913-1972), priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei.

The Bishop emphasized “the importance of holiness in the life of the Church, which hopes for holiness as the primary contribution of Christians.” He spoke of the Servant of God’s faithfulness in “dedicating his life to the sanctification of many people,” “propagating the charism with which the Holy Spirit enriched the Church through St. Josemaría.”

He also asked that his example “be an incentive for us, a spur to seek sanctity for every Catholic. May we have many more processes such as this one, which are a sign of the Church’s vitality.”

During the ceremony the boxes with the documentary evidence gathered by the tribunal since February of 2005 were closed and sealed. They will be sent to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to obtain the decree of validity of the process.

Fr. José Maria Hernández Garnica was one of the first faithful of Opus Dei, which he joined in 1935. A mining engineer, he also earned doctorates in science and theology. He was one of the first three faithful of Opus Dei to be ordained a priest. This took place in 1944, together with the Servants of God Álvaro del Portillo and José Luis Múzquiz.

He sought sanctity in his professional work and later in his work as a priest. He carried out a broad and self-sacrificing apostolic and pastoral work in Spain, England, Ireland, France, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Holland. Together with the supernatural means, especially prayer and the sacraments, he also employed all the human means within his reach. He learned several languages, adapted himself to different environments, and endured many hardships in countries where he began the apostolic work of Opus Dei.

Romana, No. 48, January-June 2009, p. 127-128.