Eucharistic Celebrations on the Feast of St. Josemaría
On June 26, the Solemnity of St. Josemaría, the Prelate of Opus Dei celebrated a solemn Mass in the Prelatic Church of Our Lady of Peace in Rome, with a reduced capacity due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. In the Mass, the homily of which is included in these pages, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz prayed for those affected by COVID-19, especially “all the deceased and sick, together with their families,” and appealed “to the intercession of St. Josemaría to protect them from heaven.”
For reasons of public health, few Masses on the feast of St. Josemaría were able to count on the physical attendance of the faithful. By way of example, we mention the following:
In Santiago de Guatemala, Archbishop Gonzalo de Villa y Vásquez, S.J., presided at a Mass in the metropolitan cathedral. He pointed out that the founder of Opus Dei “began his mission in a time of upheaval and civil war, in the midst of growing unbelief. In these circumstances St. Josemaría did everything possible to help this small seed, this Work of God, to grow little by little. He wasn’t discouraged and, despite all the difficulties, he continued forward. The war itself was a particularly difficult time for him, but once the war was over Opus Dei would grow much more rapidly than before. As the Gospel of the Mass says, ‘they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.’ In St. Josemaría’s lifetime so many fruits of his apostolate, of his dedication, of his priesthood, were seen. Our Lord worked through him in people from so many different places, and with a common message of the sanctification of ordinary life.”
In the Basilica of the Conception in Madrid, the Vicar of Opus Dei in Spain, Rev. Ignacio Barrera, reminded people that “in hard times of health and economic crises, among others, Christ calls us to hope, to optimism. He invites us today, with the words we have read in the Gospel addressed to Peter: ‘Come with me cast out the nets’ in order to bring the world and mankind to God, and to bring God to the world and to mankind. St. Josemaría,” he said, “dedicated his life to Opus Dei to spread the universal call to holiness in work and in daily life. St. John Paul II, on the day of his canonization, defined him as ‘the saint of the ordinary.’ The saint of the ordinary is the one who faces life with a normality that is sometimes heroic, who faces life with interior and exterior joy, with a permanent disposition to serve others in one’s work, in one’s friendships, in one’s family, in one’s way of resting, in whatever situation one finds oneself, and with the faithful fulfillment of the duties of ordinary life, the little things done with love and with a smile.”
In the parish of St. Joseph the Patriarch in Mandaluyong City (Philippines), Gerbert D. Cabaylo, OSJ, presided at a Mass on the feast of St. Josemaría. In this year of St. Joseph,” he said, “let us remember St. Josemaría’s special devotion to the holy Patriarch. For example, in 1934 the founder of Opus Dei entrusted to St. Joseph the obtaining of the necessary permits to install the first tabernacle in a center of Opus Dei in Madrid. He confided: ‘I have deep in my soul the devotion to St. Joseph that I have passed on to you. It is a devotion that has grown over time.’ In his book The Way, for example, he wrote: ‘St. Joseph, the Father of Christ, is also your Father and your Lord. Go to him.” Joseph’s fatherhood over Jesus was an essential part of his own mission in life. He received a divine mission, to dedicate himself to the only begotten Son of God, to pour out his life for Jesus, sanctifying his ordinary life.”
Gerard Colacicco, Auxiliary Bishop of New York, presided at a solemn Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. He reminded people that “St. Josemaría’s devotion to St. Joseph is well known. The riches found in his writings invites us to deepen our own relationship and devotion to this just man, chosen by God as the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the father, in human eyes, of our Lord Jesus Christ. St. Josemaría exhorts us to love St. Joseph greatly, with all our heart, because with Jesus he is the person who has loved our Lady the most, who has lived closest to God. St. Joseph is the person who has loved God the most after our Mother. He deserves that we strive to get to know him. Moreover, he is the teacher of our interior life. He has great power with God and with his Mother. We are very fortunate to have St. Josemaría’s meditations centered on the seven Sundays of St. Joseph, collected in Hablar con Dios; his meditation “In Joseph’s Workshop,” found in Christ is Passing By; his numerous references to St. Joseph in The Way and The Forge. They are a rich treasure and source of inspiration to help us live this year of grace well.”
In addition, numerous Masses were celebrated all over the world which, in most cases, were not attended in person, but rather broadcast on the Internet.
Romana, n. 72, January-June 2021, p. 69-70.