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Harambee organizes a literary competition for the European Year of the Volunteer

In honor of the European Year of the Volunteer, Harambee Africa International, in collaboration with the Fondazione RUI, has organized a literary competition among Italian students with the title: “A Story about Africa.” The goal was to write a story situated in Africa that will help foster knowledge about and solidarity with the African continent. The awarding of prizes took place in Rome, in the Palazzo Madama, seat of the Italian Senate, on May 12.

In Guaydil school

The Guaydil girls school, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, held in January the first St. Josemaría Week, an event they hope to turn into a tradition. It included a traveling exposition on the life and message of St. Josemaría in which teachers and students took part, a St. Josemaría Trophy volleyball tournament in which almost all of the grades participated, and a Mass held in the Guaydil chapel for families and friends of the school.

Prayer card in Mapudungún

Adding to the list of 56 languages in which the prayer for the intercession of St. Josemaría is available, a prayer card has just been published in Mapudungún, a Mapuche language spoken in various regions of Chile. The translation, originally made by a teacher in an intercultural high school, was edited by persons whose mother-tongue is Mapuche. The event received mention in the press as an example of the recognition of aboriginal cultures.

St. Josemaría in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Abandoned

The Archbishop of Valencia, Carlos Osoro Sierra, blessed a portrait of St. Josemaría in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Abandoned on April 19. Participating in the ceremony were the regional vicar of Opus Dei in Spain, Msgr. Ramon Herrando; the rector of the Basilica, Fr. Juan Bautista Anton; and the vicar of the delegation of Opus Dei in Valencia, Fr. Jorge Nava. Msgr. Ramon Herrando, in the name of the Prelate of Opus Dei, expressed his gratitude for the interest and effort of the Archbishop, the rector of the Basilica and many other persons who assisted in the installation of the painting in a place so beloved by Valencians. He said he was also very happy that “the ceremony coincided with the 75th anniversary of St. Josemaría’s first visit to Valencia on April 20, 1936.” This date can be seen, Msgr. Herrando noted, as the date of the beginning of Opus Dei’s apostolic activity in Valencia, the first city to which St. Josemaría extended his apostolic work in service of the Church after the Work began in Madrid, in 1928.

The painting by José Manuel Pozo Serrano brings to life St. Josemaría’s devotion to Our Lady of the Abandoned, whom he always visited whenever he traveled to Valencia. It is installed on the stairs leading to the niche behind the altar where the statue of our Lady stands, close to other paintings of saints and Popes who sought the intercession of the Mare de Déu dels Desemparats.

The footsteps of a saint in Valladolid

Throughout his life, St. Josemaría visited the city of Valladolid more than sixty times. A photographic exhibit entitled “St. Josemaría and Valladolid: The footsteps of a saint” was made available to the public in an exhibition site in the city. Many residents of Valladolid, proud of St. Josemaría’s close relationship with their city (the third in which a Center of Opus Dei was established), attended the exhibit.

A DVD about the crossing of the Pyrenees

In Spain a new documentary has been produced about the passage of St. Josemaría and his handful of young companions through the Pyrenees in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. Its title is Cruzando la noche. Caminos dificiles en tiempos dramáticos. The video offers a vivid account of the harsh war conditions and exhausting marches through the mountains of that risky endeavor.

St. Josemaría and Blessed John Paul II for young people

More than a hundred young people took part, in Rome, in a conference on Blessed John Paul II and St. Josemaría Escrivá. The presentations, for which prizes were awarded, were meant to focus on the key challenges these two men placed before young people. The winning exposition was by the Ipar Youth Club of Bilbao, under the title “John Paul II: when it is prudent to be daring.”

Among those invited to the conference were the journalist Paloma Gomez-Borrero, a specialist in the Pontificate of John Paul II, and Fr. John Wauck, a professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, who acted as an advisor to Roland Joffe during the filming of the movie There Be Dragons, inspired by the life of St. Josemaría.

Devotion throughout Italy

Two photographic expositions on the life of St. Josemaría were held in Italy, one in Bergamo and the other in Verona. Also two streets and a plaza—in Montesilvano (Pescara), Enna, and Cernobbio (Como), respectively—were dedicated to the founder of Opus Dei. A sign of special devotion was the inauguration of a painting representing St. Josemaría and St. Joseph in a church in Naples.

Devotion in Colombia

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has issued a Decree dated October 20, 2010, by which the celebration of the feast day of St. Josemaría Escrivá is permitted on June 26 in all the dioceses of Colombia as a memoria ad libitum (optional memorial).

On Saturday, June 25, a Mass was celebrated in the Holy Spirit parish church of Garzón (Huila), Colombia, and a painting of St. Josemaría was solemnly enthroned on the occasion of his liturgical feast.

Romana, n. 52, January-June 2011, p. 116-118.

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