Saint Josemaría Escrivá was born on September 9, 1902 in Barbastro, Spain. On March 28, 1925, he was ordained to the priesthood in Saragossa. In the year 1928, he founded the organization Opus Dei. He believed that he founded Opus Dei through the providence of God. Opus Dei is a Catholic institution that assists individuals who are seeking to achieve universal holiness, which we are called to at the Sacrament of Baptism, through their daily lives and functions in society. It is the goal and mission of Opus Dei to live in the world and to seek and reach the common good of all people.
At the age of 73, St. Josemaría Escrivá died drastically in his office where he worked. He had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother and glanced at a picture of her has he passed away. Today, June 26 is the feast day for this great saint of the 20th century.
When he died in 1975, the organization that he founded had spread to six continents, had 60,000 members, and 80 nationalities. The Opus Dei members, which includes both clergy and lay faithful, are dedicated to serving the Church with the same obedience and fervor that Saint Josemaría Escrivá gave to the Church in his daily life. In 2010, Opus Dei listed just shy of 90,000 members with nearly 2000 of them priests.
On October 7, 2002, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blessed John Paul II canonized the Founder of Opus Dei in Rome. During the Canonization, Blessed John Paul II said,
“St Josemaría was chosen by the Lord to announce the universal call to holiness and to point out that daily life and ordinary activities are a path to holiness. One could say that he was the saint of ordinary life. In fact, he was convinced that for those who live with a perspective of faith, everything is an opportunity to meet God, everything can be an incentive for prayer. Seen in this light, daily life reveals an unexpected greatness. Holiness is truly within everyone’s reach…[he] was profoundly convinced that the Christian life entails a mission and an apostolate: we are in the world to save it with Christ. He loved the world passionately, with a “redemptive love” (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 604). Precisely for this reason his teachings have helped so many ordinary members of the faithful to discover the redemptive power of faith, its capacity to transform the earth.”