Hidden: Opus Dei in the Republican Zone During the Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939), by Jose Luis Gonzalez Gullon

Hidden is an academic research work about the history of Opus Dei during the three years of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), in the so-called “Republican zone.” At the time of the war’s outbreak, most of the 30 members of Opus Dei—founded just eight years earlier—lived in that area of Spain. The book describes their lives and that of the founder amid the great collective drama of war. José Luis González Gullón’s book is a new addition to the series being published by the Istituto Storico San Josemaría Escrivá.

The first chapter discusses the impact of the revolutionary movement unleashed in the Republican occuppied areas. The harsh repression against those known to be Catholics led the members of Opus Dei to seek any refuge that would allow them to escape prison and probable death, both in Madrid and in the Levant and La Mancha areas of Spain.

The second chapter focuses on the period between October 1936 and March 1937, when four members of the Work were confined to prison, and two others—including Josemaría Escrivá himself—hid in a psychiatric sanatorium.

The third chapter looks at the months the founder of Opus Dei spent hidden in the Honduran consulate in Madrid. In that precarious hiding place he managed to maintain regular contact with the other members of the Work and to encourage them in their efforts.

The escape from the Republican zone by Josemaría Escrivá and a number of members of Opus Dei forms the topic of the fourth chapter. These pages show the daunting challenges faced by the founder during this period, and his unwavering determination to carry out God’s will for Opus Dei’s expansion.

Finally, the last chapter covers the life of the members of Opus Dei who continued to reside in the Republican zone until the end of the war.

José Luis González Gullón is professor of History at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross and a member of the San Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer Historical Institute. His previous publications include DYA: The Academy and Residence in the History of Opus Dei (1933-1939), and The Clergy in the Second Republic. Madrid: 1931-1936. He is one of the editors of the Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer Dictionary. He has also published articles on contemporary religious history in The Catholic Historical Review, Historia Contemporánea, Hispania Sacra, and Studia et Documenta.

Romana, n. 66, January-June 2018, p. 147-148.

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