DYA, the Academy and Residence in the History of Opus Dei

The historian and priest Jose Luis Gonzalez Gullón has published DYA, the Academy and Residence in the History of Opus Dei (1933-1939). The author analyzes the first activity of Opus Dei’s corporate apostolate started directly by its founder. The book, published by Ediciones Rialp, was put on sale last February 1.

DYA—an acronym for “Derecho y Arquitectura” (Law and Architecture) —was a student residence and a study academy that opened in Madrid, under the initiative of Josemaría Escrivá, in November 1933. With the outbreak of the civil war in Spain, it had to abruptly interrupt its activities in June 1936.

This academy-residence has special relevance for the history of Opus Dei. DYA opened five years after the founding of Opus Dei in 1928. Together with its academic and residential activities, DYA was a place where St. Josemaría could spread the message of Opus Dei, by living alongside the university students and inviting them to follow paths of prayer compatible with their human and professional ideals. The book highlights the key points of St. Josemaría message, which would spread in the following years throughout the whole world.

The book also presents other activities of the Founder of Opus Dei in Madrid up until the outbreak of the civil war. These include sessions for Christian formation for diocesan priests, formative meetings for women, human and priestly care for the sick in Madrid’s hospitals, along with his pastoral work in the Foundation for the Sick and later in that of Santa Isabel.

The book was presented in various cities throughout Spain. On April 14, it was presented in Pamplona, in a ceremony organized by the Saint Josemaría Escrivá Center of Documentation and Studies, which took place in the School of Communications at the University of Navarra. On April 16, it was presented to the public in the ARS Bookstore in Logroño; on April 18, in the Moncloa Student Residence in Madrid; on May 18, in the Malaga College of Lawyers; on May 19, in the Provincial Assembly of Almeria; on May 20, in the Advanced Technical School of Highway Engineering at the University of Granada; on June 3, in the Oratori de Santa Maria de Bonaigua in Barcelona. The work was also presented in Ecuador in two locations: on June 29 in Quito and on July 27 in Guayaquil.

José Luis Gonzalez Gullón has doctorates in History and Theology and is a member of the Saint Josemaría Escrivá Historical Institute. He is the author of El clero en la Segunda República: 1931-1935, and various articles on the contemporary history of the Church in Spain. He was one of the editors of the Diccionario de San Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer.

Romana, n. 62, January-June 2016, p. 132-133.

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