St. Josemaria, intercessor for ‘ordinary’ sainthood
By Fr. Mickey Cardenas
June 18, 2018
The liturgical feast day of St. Josemaria Escriva, celebrated on June 26, is not only a reminder that God calls all men and women to be holy it is, moreover, an invitation to ask the saint’s intercession for “ordinary sainthood.”
“Our Lord wanted to remind all men and women that they can and should be saints— also ‘ordinary’ people: married or single; engaged in any honest job; sick or well, young or old, poor or rich… from heaven St. Josemaria continues to carry out this mission, helping many people to encounter Christ amid the problems, dreams, joys, and sorrows of daily life.”
This is the testimony given by Monsignor Joaquin Alonso, who had worked for many years with St. Josemaria, as well as with his successors as head of the Prelature of Opus Dei: Bishop Alvaro del Portillo and Bishop Javier Echevarria.
Founding Opus Dei
The mission God entrusted to Fr. Escriva on Oct. 2, 1928, was to found Opus Dei, a path to holiness through professional work and the ordinary duties of a Christian.
On March 19, Pope Francis issued a new apostolic exhortation “Gaudete et exsultate” (“Rejoice and be glad”) to address the universal call to holiness in today’s world with the goal “to re-propose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time”.
‘From heaven, I’ll be able to help you better’
“St. Josemaria’s holy life had an enormous impact on those around him and on the millions familiar with his writings. Yet with his arrival in heaven, his help has become much more far-reaching, thanks to his intercession before God for so many people’s needs, whether big or small,” explained the priest-assistant of Monsignor Escriva.
For a better understanding of the saints’ intercession Alonso, who had served as consultor of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, expounded: “In this world, saints have spent their lives in loving both God and neighbor, thus imitating Jesus Christ, who ‘went about doing good’ (Acts 10:38). But when they reach heaven, as we read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church – in number 2683 – they ‘constantly care for those whom they have left on earth.’”
“Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world,” further reads the catechism.
“From heaven, I’ll be able to help you better,” Alonso recalled St. Josemaria assuring those around him as the holy priest approached the end of his life.
Masses in PH to commemorate St. Josemaria
Monsignor Escriva died in Rome on June 26, 1975 and was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II on Oct. 6, 2002.
Since Monsignor Escriva’s death, and especially since his canonization, Masses have been celebrated on June 26 attended by a growing number of people who have discovered through the saint’s message of living out their Christian vocation “in middle of the world.”
The Information Office of Opus Dei in the Philippines offers in its website (opusdei.ph) information on Masses that will be celebrated for the liturgical commemoration of St. Josemaria in various places in the country.