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St. Josemaría Escrivá's legacy lives on

On June 26, the Church celebrated the feast of St. Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei. Cardinal Dolan delivered a homily praising this saint in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.

Jennifer Elizabeth Terranova-June 28, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes
St. Josemaría

A canvas with the image of St. Josemaría hangs in St. Peter's Square on the day of his canonization (CNS photo from Reuters).

The feast of St. Josemaría Escrivá was celebrated on June 26 at the St. Patrick's Cathedral of New York, and His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, was the main celebrant, who spoke of his life, his legacy and the Opus Dei.

A man of prayer, reflection and great joy, St. Josemaría Escrivá always felt the yearning to do more, and he did. He believed that all men could become saints by living ordinary lives in the ordinary world. And in his homily, Cardinal Dolan mentioned some of the many reasons for extolling St. Josemaría's gifts.

Cardinal Dolan began the Mass by expressing his gratitude for Opus Dei, its charism and mission. He shared how, in the Archdiocese of New York, "I have come to know and love the vocation inspired by St. Josemaría Escrivá." He referred to the late saint as a "precocious prophet of the universal call to holiness." His spiritual legacy lives on through many of "the beloved men and women of Opus Dei.

The identity of Opus Dei in everyday life

His Eminence offered three insights into its mission and praised Opus Dei's emphasis on what is silent, its emphasis on what is invisible and its strategy of evangelization.

"You, sons and daughters of St. Josemaría, wear no distinctive religious habit; you have no overtly religious identity in your residence; you answer the telephone, not with a polite [reply] of a title, apostolate or parish...but usually with a simple hello."

In addition, Cardinal Dolan praised Opus Dei for avoiding any affiliation with "slick and noisy public relations." He recalled that our Lord "preferred to let people discover who he was by his actions, and by knowing him better, and not by broadcasting it ....." He continued, "He was silent about his identity, and so are you, and I like that."

The importance of what is not seen

He began the second part of what he called the "trifecta" by praising Opus Dei's focus on what is "invisible." He compared St. Josemaría, and his followers, to the apostles in the evening Gospel. "The apostles...do not act on the verifiable...they based their actions on the commands of Jesus, and so do you."

Cardinal Dolan concluded his homily by evoking Mother Teresa and praising the mission of Opus Dei and its ability to evangelize "one to one, soul to soul." When someone asked Mother Teresa how global poverty could be eradicated, she replied, "It's not global poverty I'm trying to solve; it's feeding, clothing and loving this poor person in my arms, in the gutter right now."

He praised St. Josemaría and said that the saint and the charism of Opus Dei share the wisdom of Jesus Christ.

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