Other Publications of Interest

Inmaculada Alva and Mercedes Montero, El hecho inesperado. Mujeres en el Opus Dei (1930-1950), Madrid, Rialp, 2021, 1st ed., 324 pp. [In the Collection of Monographs of the Istituto Storico San Josemaría Escrivá].

On February 14, 1930, St. Josemaría Escrivá realized that the Work he had begun in 1928 should also include women. How was this done? What obstacles were encountered along the way? Who were these women? What activities did they carry out and what were their achievements? Inmaculada Alva and Mercedes Montero, professors and researchers at the University of Navarra, have published the book El Hecho Inesperado. Mujeres en Opus Dei (1930-1950), which recounts the life and experiences of the first women in the Work.

In the book, the historical context of post-war Spain is interwoven with the effort of these women reflected in their letters and their conversations with St. Josemaría. The steps leading up to the opening of the first women’s center, on July 16, 1942, in Madrid, are described in some detail.

The volume also recounts how these early women broke down barriers and went beyond domestic chores to launch initiatives such as the Minerva publishing house, founded to promote the reading of classic and modern books among women; and the Zurbarán university residence, whose first director was Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri.

“The message of Opus Dei opened up horizons of work and apostolate that urged them beyond what a woman in the 1940s could imagine,” Professor Mercedes Montero said. The book highlights the development of the capacities of all these women in historical circumstances that were not at all favorable. Few women at that time practiced a profession or had access to a university career. Women had very little space to act in society.

The book brings to the reader part of the lives of Lola Fisac, Nisa López Guzmán, Encarnita Ortega, Enrica Botella, Guadalupe Ortíz de Landázuri, and Sagrario Arellano, among others. “The women had to find their own way within Opus Dei, with the same spirituality, but in a different way from the men, and this is reflected very well in the book,” said Mercedes Montero. While Inma Alva, a researcher at the Center for Documentation and Studies on Josemaría Escriva (CEDEJ), said that the book “offers a vision of St. Josemaría’s mindset that is sometimes not very well known and that is a very modern vision of the role of women.”


Luis Cano and Alfredo Méndiz, Los primeros supernumerarios del Opus Dei, Madrid, Letra Grande, 2021, 1st ed., 230 pp.

With the aim of making clear the importance that St. Josemaría gave right from the beginning to the vocation of married people, this book brings together articles by Luis Cano and Alfredo Méndiz, published in the journal Studia et Documenta. The book recounts the circumstances in which the first married members joined the Work, a desire long fostered by the founder. In September 1948, after obtaining recognition from the Holy See for this step, he organized a workshop in which fifteen people took part. St. Josemaría’s diligent efforts during those days to explain important aspects of the life of the supernumeraries has been reconstructed in part thanks to the notes and testimonies of some of those actually present there.


Enrique Muñiz, Los intercesores del Opus Dei, Madrid, Rialp, 2021, 1st ed., 162 pp.

Since time immemorial, Christians have turned to the intercession of the saints to obtain favors and protection in confronting difficulties and obstacles. How did the figure of the “intercessor” arise in Opus Dei? When were each of these five saints of the Catholic Church chosen for this role, who together form such a heterogeneous group?

The founder named as intercessors an Italian pope, who died in the early 20th century, St. Pius X; a 19th century French secular priest, St. John Baptist Mary Vianney; an English politician, father of a family and a well-known figure in 16th century England, St. Thomas More; a bishop from Asia Minor who lived between the 3rd and 4th centuries, St. Nicholas of Bari; and a 14th century Italian Dominican tertiary, St. Catherine of Siena.

This book collects the articles published in Studia et Documenta on Opus Dei’s intercessor saints. In 2020 the book appeared in electronic format.


Fernando Ocáriz, W świetle Ewangelii: Krótkie teksty do rozważań, Krakow, Petrus, 2021, 1st Polish edition, 254 pp. [Translation of the original Spanish A la luz del Evangelio: Textos breves para la meditación].

Fernando Ocáriz, In the Light of the Gospel: Short Meditations, Chicago, Scepter, 2021, 1st English edition, 176 pp.

Fernando Ocáriz, À la lumière de l’Èvangile, textes pour la méditation, Paris, Le Laurier, 2021, 1st French edition, 120 pp.


Julián Herranz, Mes souvenirs avec saint Josémaria et saint Jean-Paul II, Paris, Le Laurier, 2021, 1st French edition, 348 pp. [Translation of the original Italian Nei dintorni di Gerico: ricordi degli anni con san Josemaría & con Giovanni Paolo II].

Romana, n. 72, January-June 2021, p. 93-95.

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