Eucharistic Celebrations on the Feast of Saint Josemaría

Due to the pandemic and in accordance with the provisions of the civil and religious authorities of each place, in many parts of the world Masses were celebrated in the presence of a few faithful but with the possibility of many others taking part virtually. The following are examples of some of these celebrations.

Archdiocese of Santiago, Guatemala (June 27, 2020)

The Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Santiago, Bishop Raúl Antonio Martínez, celebrated Mass in honor of Saint Josemaría. On this occasion there were no faithful in attendance, due to the pandemic restrictions. It was celebrated in the Metropolitan Cathedral and was transmitted through the Archdiocesan Television channel and on social media.

Lausanne, Switzerland (June 26, 2020)

Due to health restrictions, Mass was celebrated in Lausanne only in the parish of Sainte-Thérèse. Rev. Cettou, pastor of the Community of the Beatitudes, officiated. Rev. Charles Ayxela, Rev. Jean-Charles Tissot and Rev. Jean-Pascal Vacher, pastor of another church in the city, concelebrated. About 70 faithful of the Prelature, cooperators and friends attended. The Mass was broadcast live on Radio Maria. Afterwards, those present, together with the pastor, visited a new building attached to the parish.

Almaty, Kazakhstan (June 27, 2020)

Bishop Jose Luis Mumbiela Sierra, of the Diocese of the Most Holy Trinity in Almaty, presided at Holy Mass on the feast of Saint Josemaría in the cathedral. During the Mass he expressed his gratitude for the apostolic work of the Prelature in the diocese. The regional vicar of the Prelature of Opus Dei in Kazakhstan and several other priests took part in the concelebration.

Mexico City and Puebla, Mexico (June 26, 2020)

In the Cathedral of Puebla, Archbishop Victor Sanchez Espinosa of Puebla celebrated Mass on the feast of Saint Josemaría, which was transmitted by digital media. In the parish of Saint Josemaría in Mexico City, the regional vicar celebrated Mass in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Saint Josemaría’s visit to Mexico.

Salzburg, Austria (June 26, 2020)

The rector of the Salzburg Seminary, Bishop Tobias Gigmayr, celebrated Holy Mass on the feast of Saint Josemaría in the Maria Plain Shrine.

Bucharest, Romania (June 26, 2020)

Damian Cornel, Auxiliary Bishop of Bucharest, celebrated Mass in the Cathedral of Saint Iosif for the feast of Saint Josemaría.

Budapest, Hungary (June 26, 2020)

The Mass in the Church of Szent Anna was celebrated by Archbishop Michael August Blume, Apostolic Nuncio to Hungary.

Managua, Nicaragua (June 24, 2020)

In a video message from Nicaragua, Cardinal Leopoldo José Brenes reminded people of Saint Josemaría’s invitation to holiness in daily life. He said that attaining holiness “is a great challenge that we all face ... constantly shown in our daily actions, and above all in daily deeds of love.” Here are some paragraphs from the video-message:

“Good morning, brothers and sisters who are members of Opus Dei. Since the feast of Saint Josemaría Escrivá is coming up on June 26, and since we are unable to celebrate it due to the pandemic that prevents us from celebrating it with the solemnity we would all like, I want to express my closeness to you by recalling a very beautiful thought of Saint Josemaría regarding sanctity. Last Friday, we celebrated the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and a day of prayer for the sanctity of priests. To become saints. I think this is the great challenge that we all face, and Saint Josemaría invited us to strive for holiness. He said said that holiness is not something difficult, but a divine and human reality that is constantly shown in our daily actions, and above all in daily deeds of love…

The Holy Father reminded us of that short prayer: “Lord, may my heart be like yours.” Without a doubt, I think this is one of the most beautiful things that Saint Josemaría encouraged each of us to do: to keep our eyes on our Lord, to keep our eyes on our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I want to congratulate you on this feast. May the witness of Saint Josemaría encourage each of us to strive to be saints every day in small deeds, not those that dazzle others but in the daily effort along our path in life. Congratulations to everyone.”

Quito, Ecuador (June 26, 2020)

More than 1,700 people connected online to the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Alfredo José Espinoza, Archbishop of Quito and Primate of Ecuador. The feast of Saint Josemaría was celebrated with great joy. The limitations due to the Covid-19 pandemic did not allow a face-to-face meeting, but many faithful spiritually joined the celebration from the Intisana College, through the Facebook channel of the Archdiocese of Quito.

The Archbishop was accompanied by the Vicar of Opus Dei in Ecuador, Msgr. José Andrés Carvajal. It was an opportunity to celebrate Saint Josemaría’s witness to holiness. It was also an opportunity to recall how faith has sustained many people during the Covid confinement, giving them a hopeful outlook towards the future and helping them to move forward in the midst of suffering and the loss of loved ones.

In his homily, Archbishop Alfredo José referred to the first reading on creation and how God forms man and gives him the “breath of life.” And he quoted the following words from Pope Francis: “The first page of the Bible is like a great hymn of thanksgiving ... the goodness and beauty of all that exists is continually reaffirmed there. God, with his word, calls creatures to life, and all things come into existence.”

He also stressed that contemplating the beauty and mystery of creation through prayer and through accepting that man is a fragile being who is born and dies, is a context that can lead to raising one’s eyes and heart towards God, since, as the Pope says: “man’s greatness is his relationship with God.”

He went on to say that no one has been unaffected by this health emergency and that, in one way or another, the pandemic has had a big impact on everyone and could have led to despair. But Saint Josemaría reminds us that it is precisely in times of difficulty that we should trust more in God: “Let those very obstacles give you strength. God’s grace will not fail you. What does it matter if for the moment you have to curtail your activity if afterwards, like a spring that has been compressed, you will reach imcomparably farther than you ever dreamed?” (The Way, 12).

The celebration ended with a call to hope, so that everyone will be strengthened in prayer to be bearers of joy. Archbishop Alfredo José reminded people of Jesus’ words: “Put out into the deep.” “Put out into the sea of hope, of life, of trust, of joy, of daily sanctity, towards the immensity of the Heart of God and the Heart of Mary. For as Saint Josemaría said: ‘Mother! Call her again and again. She is listening, she sees you in danger perhaps, and with her Son's grace she, your holy Mother Mary, offers you the refuge of her arms, the tenderness of her embrace. Call her, and you will find yourself with added strength for the new struggle’ (The Way, 516).”

Montevideo, Uruguay (June 26, 2020)

The principal celebration for the feast of Saint Josemaría took place in the church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Archbishop of Montevideo, Cardinal Daniel Sturla, presided. Only a limited number of faithful accompanied him due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

Cardinal Sturla began his homily by recalling that a year ago he celebrated the feast of Saint Josemaría in the Basilica of Saint Eugene in Rome, together with Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, Prelate of Opus Dei. Some words of Saint Josemaría from his book Friends of God served as the guiding thread for his homily, which ended with an invitation: “We have to find the sensitive point, the right path to enter people’s hearts in order to proclaim Christ.”

Romana, n. 70, January-December 2020, p. 97-100.

Send to friend