Studia et Documenta no. 7

The seventh volume of Studia et Documenta, the annual review from the St. Josemaría Escrivá Historical Institute, offers new material on the history of Opus Dei.

One of the articles is dedicated to a trip that Cardinal Roncalli, now Blessed John XXIII, made to Spain in 1954. He stayed in two university student residences, corporate apostolic undertakings of Opus Dei, in Santiago de Compostela and Saragossa. Using first hand sources, Alfredo Mendiz describes the positive impression that Cardinal Roncalli received from that experience, and he concludes with a brief section on the later relationship between Pope John XXIII and Josemaría Escrivá.

The opening articles focus on the priestly ministry of the founder of Opus Dei in the 30’s and 40’s. The first article, by Gloria Toranzo, sheds light on the beginnings of Opus Dei among women. Joaquin Herrera Dávila is the author of the second article, which provides details of St. Josemaría’s first trip to Andalusia, in April 1938. Constantino Anchel’s article looks at the 116 preaching activities St. Josemaría carried out between the years 1938 and 1946, and the impression these made on those attending.

Other topics in this volume are the childhood of the saint, when he studied in the school of the Piarists in Barbastro (1908-1915); the three trips Opus Dei’s founder made to Austria, between 1949 and 1955; the beginning of the Roman College of Holy Mary in 1953; and the work of social integration carried out in the Zunil School in Guat­emala thanks to the message of St. Josemaría.

The section dedicated to unpublished documents includes two articles. The first, edited by José Luis Gonzalez-Gullón, offers notes taken in the year 1934 by Ricardo Fernandez Vallespin, director of the DYA Academy, the first center of Opus Dei. These notes reflect the calm environment of work and friendship found there, in a Spain that was then in deep political and social turmoil, and the abundant pastoral activity of Josemaría Escrivá. The second article, by Francisca Colomer, focuses on a report about Opus Dei by the Archbishop of Valencia, sent to the nuncio in Spain in 1941.

The news section includes details on the sixteen processes of canonization of faithful of Opus Dei presently underway. Finally, the bibliographic section has reviews of twenty-two publications, selected from the most recent books related to St. Josemaría and Opus Dei, and a new section of the systematic bibliography the review has been publishing since its first issue.

The new issue is also marked by a change of editors. José Luis Illanes, who has been director of Studia et Documenta up till now, has passed the baton to Carlos Pioppi, who has been working at his side as assistant director from the journal’s beginnings. Prof. Pioppi teaches History of the Church at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

Romana, n. 56, January-June 2013, p. 102-103.

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