Since his canonization in 2002, every June 26, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Josemaría Escriváfounder of Opus Dei. Precisely on that same day, in this year 2022, will close the International Year of the Family Amoris Laetitiaappointed by Pope Francis.
With regard to this curiosity, which we can understand as casual or providential, we would like to recall some of St. Josemaría's advice on marriage and family life.
The example of the Holy Family
The path of holiness, specific to marriage, has different parts in which the Christian's response develops. St. Josemaría Escrivá explains by what means identification with Christ is attained. The absolute answer, how to travel the path and reach the goal, is Christ.
The most important and continuous reference is that of the imitation of Christ in ordinary life. The example of the Holy Family, so that God may be found uninterruptedly.
St. Josemaría explains in this way the need to live contemplation in the midst of the world. As a consequence, the vocation and mission of marriage are sanctified.
In his writings, the sanctification of temporal activities, the sanctification of ordinary work, and the sanctification through family lifeThe vocation of the lay person is thus fulfilled in accordance with the Christian spirit of the professional, social or marital tasks that make up his or her life. The vocation of the lay person is thus realized in accordance with the Christian spirit of the professional, social or marital tasks that make up his or her life.
Sanctifying and sanctifying in the family
Based on the grace of the sacrament of marriage, St. Josemaría Escrivá explains the education of children, the sanctification of the home, attention to the family, dedication to one's profession, etc.
These are areas in which supernatural help is simultaneously required, which comes from prayer and the sacraments. Both in the home and in the different places in which it is carried out, the Christian family can gradually find the specific vocation foreseen by God for each member.
Care for the good of the spouse and children is a necessary element for the sanctification of each spouse in marriage.
The main challenge proposed by St. Josemaría to parents is to form authentic Christians, people who strive to attain and transmit holiness.
The path of every ordinary Christian is, therefore, the sanctification of professional work and of family and social relationships; with the means of sanctification and apostolate provided by the Church. By these means we have referred to participation in the sacraments, prayer and Christian formation.
Married and family life are paths to happiness and holiness through sacrificial and generous dedication to God's will and to others.
St. Josemaría saw the teachings of Revelation on the vocation to marriage in a new light. This light, derived from the charism God granted him, is, in our opinion, his greatest originality.
It is now up to each baptized person to recognize the dignity of the marriage vocation and to cooperate, each one from his or her place, in the world.
St. Josemaría's teaching, and his correspondence to God's grace, has been enhanced by the Church, also with his canonization in Rome on October 6, 2002.
After analyzing his preaching, we can conclude that the divine call to strive to be saints, through marriage and family life, is a central teaching of St. Josemaría Escrivá's message.