Address at the opening of the judicial phase, at the Tribunal of the Prelature, of the Cause of Canonization of Dora del Hoyo, Rome (June 18, 2012)

In the Post-Synodol Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, the Holy Father Benedict XVI wrote: “The interpretation of Sacred Scripture would remain incomplete were it not to include listening to those who have truly lived the word of God: namely, the saints. Indeed, “viva lectio est vita bonorum” (St. Gregory the Great). The most profound interpretation of Scripture comes precisely from those who let themselves be shaped by the word of God through listening, reading and assiduous meditation.” [1]

Thus “every saint is like a ray of light streaming forth from the word of God.” [2] And among “the great currents of spirituality in the Church’s history,” among the “rays of light” that illuminate the lives of men and women, the Pope said that an important place is held by “Saint Josemaria Escrivá in his preaching of the universal call to holiness.” [3]

From October 2, 1928 on, the founder of Opus Dei taught that “Professional work—and the work of a housewife is one of the greatest of professions—is a witness to the worth of the human creature. It provides a chance to develop one’s own personality; it creates a bond of union with others; it constitutes a fund of resources; it is a way of helping in the improvement of the society we live in, and of promoting the progress of the whole human race. For a Christian, these grand views become even deeper and wider. For work, which Christ took up as something both redeemed and redeeming, becomes a means, a way of holiness, a specific task which sanctifies and can be sanctified.” [4]

Dora del Hoyo was the first woman called by God to follow St. Josemaría and strive to attain sanctity in and sanctify work in the home understood as a professional work in the middle of the world. On January 10, 2004, in the homily at her funeral Mass, I said that “Dora had great importance for Opus Dei.” I am more and more convinced of the fundamental role this woman has had and will have in the life of the Church and society.

Immediately after her death, clear signs began to be seen of the solidity and extent of the reputation for sanctity that this Servant of God enjoyed. From then on, I have received more than three hundred accounts ad futuram memoriam, sent spontaneously by persons—faithful of the Prelature and others—who had known Dora, to testify to and document the exemplariness of her Christian life.

Also from that first moment reports have arrived of graces and favors attributed to her intercession. More than three hundred of these have now been received, coming from 25 countries around the world.

This abundant documentation provides reliable evidence of the extent of the reputation for holiness and the fama signorum of the Servant of God Dora del Hoyo. It is a reputation “manifested spontaneously and not artificially produced,” and that is “stable, constant, spread among people worthy of credence, extended among a significant part of the people of God.” [5]

For these reasons, and since the required time has passed, by a decree dated February 11, 2010, I named Bishop José Luis Gutiérrez as Postulator of the Cause of Canonization of Dora del Hoyo. On October 2, 2011, in accord with current legislation, [6] he presented me with the official petition to open the Cause.

On January 22, 2011, I designated two Censors, [7] to examine the writings of the Servant of God. On that same day, I also appointed three Peritos in re historica et archivistica, [8]who after careful research in the archives and the study of the existing documents have shown, beyond any reasonable doubt, the Christian exemplariness of her life here on earth.

In addition, on October 11, 2011 I issued an edict [9] inviting the faithful of the Prelature of Opus Dei who had any news of use in relation to the cause, whether favorable or unfavorable, or writings of Dora del Hoyo or documents referring to her person and deeds, to make these known with complete freedom, in order to enable the investigation to go forward to a final result that will make the truth completely clear.

Finally I notified the Bishops’ Conference of Lazio and the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints of my desire to begin this Cause of Canonization, so that if there were any objection on their part they would inform me. The nihil obstat received from them are dated February 28 and May 31, 2012, respectively.

God called Dora del Hoyo to work in tasks similar to those carried out by our Lady in the home at Nazareth. I am sure that the Christian example of this woman, with her total fidelity, will help to foster the ideal of a spirit of service and the importance for society of the family, the authentic “domestic Church,”which she incarnated with her generous and cheerful daily work, following the teachings of St. Josemaría. I entrust the work of this Tribunal to the intercession of the Founder of Opus Dei, of whom the Servant of God was a most faithful daughter. Amen.

[1]Verbum Domini, September 30, 2010, no. 48.



[4] St. Josemaría, The Forge, no. 702.

[5] Instruction Sanctorum Mater, May 17, 2007, at. 7, § 2.

[6] See Apostolic Constitution Divinus Perfectionis Magister, January 25, 1983; Normae servandae in inquisitionibus ab Episcopis faciendis in causis sanctorum, February 7 of the same year (nos. 11-15); Instruction Sanctorum Mater, art. 36-37.

[7] See Normae Servandae…, no. 13

[8] See Normae Servandae…, no. 14; Instruction Sanctorum Mater, art. 68-75.

[9] See Normae Servandae…, no. 11 b.

Romana, No. 54, January-June 2012, p. 98-100.