On the 90th Anniversary of the Beginning of the Apostolic Work with Women, February 14, 1930; Prelatic Church of Our Lady of Peace, Rome (February 14, 1920)
On February 14, 1930, Opus Dei’s apostolic work with women began. Also on the same date in 1944, the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross was born. On the occasion of these anniversaries, the Prelate preached a meditation.
Monsignor Ocáriz began by reminding those present that on February 14, 1930 “Saint Josemaría received in his soul the light, the inspiration to complete the Work that our Lord had already foreseen from all eternity, with the women’s section. And we know very well how our Father [Saint Josemaría] at the beginning thought (because that was how he had understood it) that the Work was meant for men, although from the beginning our Lord had intended it for everyone. And how our Father immediately began to strive to carry out our Lord’s will, putting in place, with great effort and many difficulties, the foundations of what we see today spread all over the world.”
The common thread of the meditation, through the readings at Mass, was gratitude to God and faith and hope, relying also on the intercession of our Lady, so that the message of the Work may continue to enrich the daily lives of so many people.
“We give thanks to God; we give thanks to our Blessed Mother through whom all graces come to us; we give thanks to our Father, here beside his remains [Saint Josemaría’s mortal remains lie in the Prelatic Church of our Lady of Peace]. We also give thanks to our Father for his fidelity, for his self-giving. And thanksgiving also for each and every one of our brothers and sisters, for the whole Work. And, each one of us, we give thanks for our own vocation; and, especially today, you women (also the priests, but in a special way today you do so because of the relevance of this anniversary). Thank you. You have to give thanks, all of us are giving thanks, because on that February 14, 1930, each one of you was already in God’s mind, in God’s plans, from all eternity.”
In the last part of the meditation, after reminding people that Saint Josemaría often remarked that we are never alone, the Prelate said that this anniversary “should also give us the joy and responsibility that we really have the Work in our hands. Being very attentive to others. We need to see the others clearly, to care for them, which is to care for the Work. To love others is to love our Lord. May we also see this act of love (which is gratitude, as our Father says) in all the wide gamut of possibilities of giving ourselves to others.”
Romana, n. 70, January-December 2020, p. 51-52.