Eucharistic Celebrations for the Feast of St. Josemaría
For the feast of St. Josemaría Escrivá on June 26, many Masses were celebrated on or close to this date all over the world. This article contains a brief summary of some of them.
On June 10, at the Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo, Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, the apostolic nuncio, celebrated a Mass with Msgr. Ramón López Mondéjar, regional vicar of Opus Dei in Japan, and the secretary of the nunciature. Archbishop Chennoth thanked those present for their involvement in various activities of evangelization that are carried out for “adults and young people, students and professionals; for Catholics, other Christians and non-Christians, for anyone who is interested in getting to know Christ.” The nuncio encouraged them to continue promoting activities that offer “spiritual, doctrinal and religious instruction” along with “human formation in virtues, and values,” so that “the whole person is formed.” “Saint Josemaría,” Archbishop Chennoth stated, “always recommended: First, prayer; then, atonement; in the third place, very much in ‘the third place,’ action (The Way, no. 82). This is not a paradox, but a perennial truth. Apostolic fruit stems, above all, from prayer and an intense and constant sacramental life. This is the secret of sanctity and of the saints’ successes.” Masses were also held in the Japanese cities of Kyoto, Osakal and Nagasaki.
On June 26, Cardinal Angelo Scola celebrated a Mass for the feast of St. Josemaría in the Cathedral of Milan, Italy. During his homily, the cardinal explained how work can become an encounter with God: “All the faithful are called to find in their daily work a decisive means to configure themselves with Christ. Why? Because work, from the viewpoint of faith, increases freedom. Work is an opportunity to welcome the sacramental gift of Christ and to make it bear fruit amid daily circumstances and relationships. St. Josemaría knew this very well and that’s why he invited everyone to change, through love, the human work of our usual working day into the work of God: something that will last forever (The Forge, no. 742). It is significant that he wanted to emphasize the unity between love and work; they are, in fact, key aspects of human experience that, transfigured freely by the encounter with Christ, become an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel to all men and women,” the cardinal said.
In the Cathedral of Madrid, Cardinal Carlos Osoro presided over the Eucharistic concelebration on the feast of the founder of Opus Dei. “What an impressive challenge St. Josemaría presents us with: amid our daily work, configured with Christ, serving with burning love the work of redemption,” Archbishop Osoro said in his homily. “Let us change this land, dear brothers and sisters, and let us do so with unlimited trust in God. Remember those words of St. Josemaría. We need to truly behave like Christians, getting along with everyone, respecting the legitimate freedom of everyone, and making this world of ours more just,” the archbishop of Madrid insisted.
In Vancouver, Canada, during the celebration of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on June 23rd, St. Josemaría was also remembered. The main celebrant of the Eucharist was Archbishop John Michael Miller, C.S.B., archbishop of the diocese. Archbishop Miller mentioned the homily that Saint Josemaría gave back in 1966 on the feast of the Sacred Heart. The founder of Opus Dei encouraged his hearers “to ask God to give us a good heart capable of compassion for the sufferings of others; only with a heart like this will we realize that the real balm for the suffering and anguish in this world is love, charity,” the archbishop recalled. “If we want to help others we have to love them,” Archbishop Miller continued, “with a love filled with understanding, dedication, affection and voluntary humility.”
In Lebanon, on June 25, the Bishop of the Curia of the Maronite Patriarchate in Antioch, Bishop Paul Abdel Sater, celebrated a solemn Mass in the cathedral church in Beirut, for the feast of St. Josemaría. Three hundred people attended. In his homily, Bishop Abdel Sater explained some essential aspects of the spirit of Opus Dei and expressed his gratitude for the evangelizing work that the faithful of the Prelature carry out in the country in union with the local hierarchy. At the end of the Mass the faithful had an opportunity to venerate a relic of St. Josemaría.
Romana, No. 64, January-June 2017, p. 160-161.