St. Josemaria "Returns' to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (May 25, 2019)
St. Josemaría first arrived in Rio de Janeiro on May 22, 1974. 45 years later, at the desire of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, this date was recalled with a projection of images of St. Josemaría on the sculpture of Christ of Corcovado, visible from the city. The Cardinal Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Archbishop Orani, sent a few words of support, as did Father Omar, Rector of the Shrine of Christ the Redeemer in Corcovado.
The Vicar of the Opus Dei delegation in Rio de Janeiro gave the blessing with a relic of the founder next to the base of Christ the Redeemer. “I want to invoke his intercession,” said Father Fabio Carvalheiro, “so that many will hear the call to holiness that Christ addresses to all men and women, and that St. Josemaría encouraged us to spread.”
Among the faithful who attended the blessing was a group of seminarians from the seminary of San José in Rio de Janeiro, who placed their future ministry under the protection of the saint.
The Vicar reminded them that “St. Josemaría always had a great sensitivity for the most needy and for those who suffer. Throughout his life he promoted and encouraged innumerable social initiatives to alleviate poverty. May today’s blessing with his relics bring comfort and relief to all those who suffer, and awaken in many hearts the generous desire to remedy the suffering of so many Cariocas.”
In 1974, when St. Josemaría was traveling by plane to São Paulo, he saw the shrine of Our Lady of Penha from above. In memory of his visit, under the Christ of Corcovado, the prayer to our Lady that was recited by the founder on that occasion was repeated: “Remember, Virgin Mother of God, when you are with the Lord, to speak well of us.”
“At the feet of Christ the Redeemer,” the Vicar concluded, “who welcomes us all with open arms, we ask St. Josemaría’s blessing so that the Brazilian people may continue to live fraternally, as children of God.”
Romana, n. 68, January-June 2019, p. 107-108.