75th Anniversary of the Beginning of the Apostolic Work in Portugal
February 5 marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of Opus Dei’s apostolic work in Portugal. On that same day, the Region of Portugal began a year of thanksgiving. The circumstances caused by the pandemic conditioned the plans for the celebration of this event.
Monsignor José Rafael Espírito Santo, Vicar of Opus Dei in Portugal, recited the Rosary in the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima, as a sign of thanksgiving. Thousands of people were able to join in through radio and television. Prayers were said for Pope Francis, for the needs of the universal and local Church, the victims of the pandemic, health personnel and those who assist people affected by COVID-19. Among the intentions were members of the Prelature, their friends and the cooperators, many of whom would have liked to be present, but for public health reasons were unable to do so. For the contemplation of the mysteries, St. Josemaría’s book Holy Rosary was read.
In the Basilica itself, the Vicar had the opportunity to pray at the tomb of Sister Lucia, thanking her for her intervention in the arrival of Opus Dei in Portugal. Monsignor José Rafael Espírito Santo also went to the Apparition Chapel and lit three candles in honor of our Lady. A family left 75 roses at the feet of Our Lady of Fatima. Another way of highlighting this anniversary was a traveling exhibition with the aim of making known the history of Opus Dei in Portugal. The exhibition was installed in the Oratory of St. Josemaría in Lisbon in April, and on May 8 it moved to Cascais. Subsequently the exhibit will be on display in various Portuguese cities.
Romana, n. 72, January-June 2021, p. 85-86.