Some Initiatives for Blessed Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri

Blessing of a Painting of Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri in the Church of Saint Joseph, Seville (Spain).

On May 18, the first anniversary of her beatification, Rev. Gabriel de Castro, Vicar of Opus Dei for Western Andalusia and Extremadura, blessed a painting of Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri in the Church of St. Joseph in Seville. The painting is the work of the Galician artist Arístides Artal, who lives in Seville and who also was responsible for the church’s altarpiece.

The ceremony was attended by a large audience, careful to observe the distances and measures foreseen by the health authorities due to the coronavirus epidemic.

In his homily, Rev. Gabriel de Castro referred to the motif of the painting, the sanctification of Blessed Guadalupe’s ordinary work through her profession as a teacher and scientific researcher. As he pointed out, the artist has depicted her with a chemistry book. He also spoke about her capacity to give of herself and to help all kinds of people come closer to God and show them the path to sanctity in the middle of the world taught by St. Josemaría, whom she knew personally and from whom she learned the spirit of Opus Dei.

He concluded by mentioning a trip Guadalupe made to Seville in 1959 and some of her impressions reflected in her letters.

Relationship between Science and Faith Seen through Guadalupe’s Eyes, La Sapienza University, Rome (Italy).

On February 5, 2020, a meeting on “Science and Faith” was held at La Sapienza University, with reflections on the witness of Blessed Guadalupe. The meeting began with a speech by Professor Bruno Botta, head of the university’s Department of Chemistry and Drug Technologies. Professor Botta explained the genesis of the meeting, which came about “almost by chance,” although for a man whose son is a priest, “it’s hard really to talk about chance,” he added.

After the presentation of speakers, Professor Silvestre Buscemi, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Palermo, took the floor to offer reflections that were “neither chemical nor theological.” as he himself said, but with the desire to explain why he is so interested in the story of Guadalupe, who was beatified in Madrid on May 18, 2019. In Professor Buscemi’s eyes, Guadalupe helped to break down barriers in scientific research. Therefore he also hopes that she will become a saint and, why not, a patron saint of chemists around the world.

Moreover, Blessed Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri, like many other chemists, “in studying atoms and molecules found inspiration in the fact that nature is orderly and not chaotic.” “The study of chemistry confirms for me that everything is ordered and, in my opinion, preordained. Some call this order ‘nature,’ personifying it. I call it God.”

Professor Marcella Trombetta, Professor of Chemical Foundations of Technology at the University Campus Biomedico in Rome, outlined a dual historical perspective. First she reflected on the relationship between science and faith, the “eternal debate” from St. Augustine to the work of Pasteur, and then spoke about Guadalupe’s own life, from her childhood to her death in Pamplona on July 16, 1975.

Analyzing two aspects of the Blessed’s life, her professional life and her life of faith, Professor Trombetta said that Guadalupe “had the courage to study what was unjustly considered unfit for a woman’s brain at that time. She also pointed out that her doctoral thesis on the fabrics that can be made from rice-processing residues “would have been a first-rate publication in the world of research today,” by virtue of its ecological inspiration.

She also spoke about the Mexican period of Guadalupe’s life, her dedication to the most needy and to the education of women, and her adventures on horseback and by plane in that great country.

Professor Giovanni Battista Appendino, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Amedeo Avogadro University of Eastern Piedmont, put Guadeloupe in the company of two other persons who combined a life of scientific research with a deep faith: Abbot Senderens and Father Nieuwland. The story of the lives of these two scholars, who made exceptional discoveries that included the creation of the first polymer, enriched the debate on the compatibility between science and faith.

The day continued with the presentation of various publications and works in the field of chemistry.

Romana, n. 70, January-December 2020, p. 124-126.

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