CARF Foundation

30 September, 20


Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer

St. Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei and known as "the saint of the ordinary. He said, "God does not tear you from your environment, he does not remove you from the world, nor from your state, nor from your noble human ambitions, nor from your professional work... but, there, he wants you a saint!"

Life of St. Josemaría Escrivá

Family (1902 - 1914)

Josemaría Escrivá was born on January 9, 1902, in Barbastro, Huesca. His parents' names were José and Dolores. They instilled Christian customs in him and his five siblings from a very early age. Confession, daily communion, the importance of prayer and charity. 

Vocation (1914 - 1918)

Later, the death of three younger sisters and the family's economic bankruptcy soon made him aware of mourning and grief. This experience made him mature and tempered his expansive and cheerful character. In 1915 the family moved to Logroño, where his father started a new job.

One winter, when a heavy snowfall fell in that city, Josemaría Escrivá, after seeing the footprints in the snow of the bare feet of a Carmelite friar, sensed that God wanted something from him, although he did not know exactly what it was. Then, he asks himself: "If others make so many sacrifices for God and for their neighbor, won't I be able to offer him something?" Thus, a divine restlessness arises in his soul: "I began to sense Love, to realize that my heart was asking me for something great and that it was love". He thinks he will be able to discover it more easily if he becomes a priestHe began to prepare himself first in Logroño and later in the seminary of Zaragoza.

Ordination to the priesthood (1918 - 1925)

At the University of Saragossa he also studied law, following his father's advice. José Escrivá died in 1924, and Josemaría was left as head of the family. He was ordained to the priesthood on March 28, 1925, and began to minister first in a rural parish and then in Saragossa.

Founded Opus Dei (1928-1936)

Josemaría Escrivá moved to Madrid in 1927 to obtain a doctorate in law and to practice law. pastoral ministry He was in daily contact with sickness and poverty in hospitals and in the poor neighborhoods of Madrid. On October 2, 1928, God made him see what He expected of him, and he founded Opus Dei. From that day on, he worked with all his strength in the development of the foundation that God entrusted to him.

Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939)

When the civil war broke out in 1936, Josemaría Escrivá was in Madrid, but religious persecution forced him to take refuge in different places. He practiced his clandestine priestly ministryuntil he managed to leave Madrid. After a journey through the Pyrenees to the south of France, he moved to Burgos.

Pastoral mission (1939 - 1945)

He returned to Madrid in 1939 at the end of the war and finished his doctoral studies in law. In the following years, Josemaría Escrivá continued the mission of Opus Dei and directed numerous retreats for lay people, priests and religious.

His life in Rome (1946 - 1965)

In 1946 he moved to Rome for good. There, he obtained a doctorate in theology from the Lateran University. He was appointed consultor to two Vatican Congregations, honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of Theology and honorary prelate of His Holiness. He is very close to the pope during the preparations and sessions of the Vatican Council II.

Expansion of the Work outside Spain (1970 - 1975)

To consolidate the apostolic mission of Opus Dei, he travels from Rome to different countries in Europe and Latin America. He also holds catechetical meetings with large groups of men and women.


On June 26, 1975, Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer died in Rome. Many bishops and lay people from different countries ask the Holy See to open his cause of canonization.

Canonization of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer

On May 17, 1992, John Paul II beatified Josemaría Escrivá. He proclaimed him a saint ten years later, on October 6, 2002, in St. Peter's Square in Rome, before a large crowd. His remains are in the Church of St. Mary of Peace in Rome, where thousands of the faithful come to pray and ask for his intercession.

"You Can Be a Saint", St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer.

The importance of José María today

The importance of St. Josemaría Escrivá's message, his grace and his contributions to the Catholic Church are unquestionable. And they continue to be so today.

Of course, Opus Dei, and all that it has meant for the Church in the last century, remains in force.

But the transcendence of his message goes beyond the important work that Opus Dei carries out in the world.

St. Josemaría Escrivá, guided by the Holy Spirit, fought for the courageous message that all Christians, without exception, are called to holiness and to the greatest intimacy with Christ. And that they can attain it with the prayer and contemplation in the midst of their daily work.

The saint of the ordinary

God is found everywhere: at work, in marriage, in the family, in society, in politics, in business, in study, among friends, etc. And in each and every one of these places and moments we have to be faithful witnesses of his love for others. St. Josemaría Escrivá invites us to discover in the little things of this world what is holy, good and divine. To achieve this we have our work, which is willed by God for man, and which therefore collaborates in the redemption and sanctification of the human creature, as part of God's salvific plan. The salvation of man and the salvation of the world go hand in hand. The sanctification of the world, through work, is intertwined with the sanctification of the person.

The daily practice of this message, life in perpetual prayer, in every minute and every hour of study, of work, of apostolate in daily life, is a message that has exalted the faith and brought hundreds of thousands of souls closer to God, in a charism that God has given to his Church, and which has had its greatest exponent in St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer.

St. Josemaría Escrivá remains today a model and point of reference for all of us who wish to sanctify ourselves in our daily lives, and to bring to every corner of the world and to every aspect of society the best that we have.

"Following in his footsteps spread in society, without distinction of race, class, culture or age, the awareness that we are all called to holiness." St. John Paul II

Praying through the intercession of St. Josemaría

Christians have always turned to the intercession of the saints to bring their prayer into the presence of God.

Pray for the intercession of St. Josemaría. O God, who through the mediation of the Blessed Virgin Mary granted St. Josemaría, a priest, innumerable graces, choosing him as the most faithful instrument for founding Opus Dei, a path of sanctification in professional work and in the fulfillment of the ordinary duties of a Christian: grant that I may also know how to convert all the moments and circumstances of my life into an opportunity to love you, and to serve the Church, the Roman Pontiff and souls with joy and simplicity, illuminating the paths of the earth with the light of faith and love.  Through the intercession of St. Josemaría, grant me the favor I ask of you? (pray). So be it.  Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

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