Some Initiatives Concerning Blessed Guadalupe
Presentation of“Letters to a Saint,” Rome, Italy (January 15, 2019)
On January 15, a new book about Guadalupe’s life was presented to a group of journalists in Rome: Letters to a Saint: Letters from Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri to St. Josemaría Escrivá.
The event took place at the International Information Office of Opus Dei in Rome. María Del Rincón and María Teresa Escobar, co-editors of the book, and Rev. Francesco Russo, director of the office for the causes of saints of the Opus Dei Prelature, made the presentation.
“Letters to a Saint was born after the announcement of her imminent beatification, because of the need to make the life of the future Blessed better known. We knew that the Prelature’s General Archives kept her letters (more than a thousand), and reading them was a great discovery. Three hundred of these letters were addressed to St. Josemaría. It seemed to us a very specific way of getting to know her life, without intermediaries,” explained Escobar. A digital edition was chosen to facilitate making this material known.
As the prologue points out, the book contains extracts from that correspondence. In it, the future Blessed opens her soul to St. Josemaría, showing him her joys, difficulties and hopes in the path of holiness she is traveling on. Although these letters were written more than half a century ago, they challenge people today. “I myself,” Escobar said, “have felt identified with, and moved by, Guadalupe. A woman who is passionate about her profession of chemistry, and who with the same passion dedicates herself to carrying out the projects that God placed before her, without getting bogged down by the obstacles. She was a very realistic woman, who had to contend with a serious disease when still quite young, and who recognized her defects and learned to laugh at them. She never stopped going forward and was happy, living every minute intensely.”
The book can be downloaded from Itunes, Apple Books and Google Play Books. The authors said that the eBook was having a very good reception, and in less than a month it had reached 38,800 downloads. It is also being translated into various languages, including English, Italian, French, and Portuguese.
“Guadalupe spent her life,” Rev. Francesco Russo concluded, ‘nel bel mezzo della strada [in the middle of the world],’ as St. Josemaría liked to say in Italian. She shared the duties, occupations, and noble aspirations of her contemporaries. Therefore she committed herself to making society more human and more just, and she did it for love of Christ. The saints, as Pope Francis wrote, are the most attractive face of the Church. Each new blessed or saint is an injection of hope and an encouraging companion on every Christian’s journey.”
Novena for Students (June 7, 2019)
“An hour of study, for a modern apostle, is an hour of prayer” (The Way, no. 335). Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri, beatified last May 18, made this advice of St. Josemaría her own and reached heaven through the sanctification of her ordinary life, her studies, and her profession.
The Novena, downloadable at www.opusdei.org, is offered to students who want to ask, through the intercession of Blessed Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri, that their study may be, besides a path of personal advancement, a way to serve God and others.
At the School of Chemistry in the Complutense University, Madrid (April 24, 2019)
On April 24th a round table was held about Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri at the School of Chemistry in the Complutense University. The dean, Prof. Francisco Ortega Gómez, presided. Speakers included the vice-dean of academic and postgraduate affairs, Luis Sánchez Martín; the chaplain of the school, Rev. José María Sierra Carrizo; the journalist Cristina Abad; and Rev. José Carlos Martín de la Hoz, vice-postulator of the cause of beatification, Rev. Ortega Gómez opened the event by welcoming the attendees and saying it was an honor for the school to hold this round table about a former student on the occasion of her beatification, and especially in the International Year of the Periodic Table.
Among the audience were several vice-deans and the general secretary of the school; professors and lecturers from this and other schools; the vicar of the Opus Dei Prelature in Madrid-West, Rev. Pedro Álvarez de Toledo; the vice-rector for students at the University of Navarra, Tomás Gómez-Acebo, a former student of chemistry at the Complutense University; professors from other universities; Prof. Miguel Alario, former president of the Royal Academy of Sciences, and students and former students.
Prof. Luis Sánchez Martín’s focused on Guadalupe's professional activity as a chemist and read the record of Guadalupe’s academic work that is kept in the School of Science.
Next the chaplain, Rev. José María Sierra Carrizo, spoke. He emphasized that the University was a place of welcome, a meeting point and place for debate in which, citing Pope Benedict XVI, truth is sought with freedom and without prejudice. The journalist Cristina Abad, author of the biographical sketch, The Freedom to Love, spoke next, highlighting Guadalupe as a woman from Madrid.
The Rev. José Carlos Martín de la Hoz focused his intervention on Guadalupe’s reputation for holiness and the many favors she has granted to people.
The dean closed the event. He invited everyone to visit the exhibition on Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri’s life located next to the School of Chemistry. There they could view Guadalupe's academic record (from high school and university), a copy of her doctoral thesis and unpublished books and documents about her life. The exhibition included four large display panels about her life. The “Multimedia of Guadalupe,” produced by journalist María Villarino, was also displayed on a large screen.
Romana, n. 68, January-June 2019, p. 115-117.