Tomorrow, June 26th, is the feast of St. Josemaría Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. St. Josemaría died on June 26th, 1975 (thus making him the most recently deceased canonized saint) and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002.
St. Josemaría is of course best known for founding Opus Dei, but paradoxically that fact has in some ways worked to make him less well-known among “ordinary” Catholics, the very people he was most trying to reach. In my experience, many Catholics seem to think that you have to be a member of Opus Dei to have a devotion to St. Josemaría, or that you have to support every single thing Opus Dei has ever done. But the truth is that St. Josemaría is a wonderful teacher for all Catholics, and his teachings and spirituality are perfectly suited for Catholics of all stripes.
The reason St. Josemaría is a great saint for today is that he calls us to strive for holiness in the midst of the modern world. Forty years before Vatican II declared a universal call to holiness, St. Josemaría was preaching this belief throughout Spain, insisting that every man and woman can become holy in – and through – everyday, ordinary life. I am not a member of Opus Dei, but I have found his teachings and spirituality to be quite helpful in my own pursuit of holiness and I encourage everyone to learn more about this great modern Saint.
I am currently in the preliminary stages of writing a book about St. Josemaría and his spirituality that is intended to be directed towards non-Opus Dei members. Until that project is completed, let me give some resources for learning more about St. Josemaría Escriva:
St. Josemaría, pray for us!