Volume 16 of Studia et Documenta

The Istituto Storico San Josemaría Escrivá has published issue no. 16 (2022) of the journal Studia et Documenta. The volume consists of five parts: a monograph, a section of studies and notes, a section reserved for the publication of documents, a newsletter, and a bibliographical section.

The monograph focuses on the women of Opus Dei who carried out the first activities of formation and apostolate for women and how they took advantage of the few opportunities that women had in the mid-twentieth century to open up new paths. Many pursued higher studies, traveled to various places and organized apostolic initiatives, centered on human and Christian formation. This is a line of research that has received much attention in the academic sphere, and which will allow for a better understanding of the role of women in the Church and more specifically in Opus Dei. The monograph contains three studies, the first of which, by Francisca Colomer, deals with the development of Opus Dei among women in Valencia from 1940 to 1975. The second article, by Inmaculada Alva, presents the beginnings of Opus Dei in the United States under the guidance of Nisa González Guzmán, between 1950 and 1952. It shows the efforts of the first women who arrived in the country to get to know a culture very different from their own and the difficulties they had to overcome in order to organize the apostolic work. In the third study, Beatriz Comella writes about the women of Opus Dei who received doctorates in Theology at the Universities of Navarra and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, between 1973 and 2018. She explains the reasons that led the founder of Opus Dei to promote this type of studies among women, a field mostly reserved for priests, as well as the extensive efforts by Opus Dei to encourage the education of women.

The section Studi e note is made up of six items of various kinds. In the first, Carlo Pioppi describes the early years of St. Josemaría’s life up to the founding of Opus Dei in 1928. It summarizes the various partial studies and hagiographical works already in existence and delves into the documents from this period that are preserved in the Opus Dei Archives in Rome. In the second study, Fernando Crovetto analyzes the relationship between St. Josemaría and Ángel Herrera Oria in the 1930s, when the latter was president of the central board of Spanish Catholic Action. Next, María Blanco discusses with the academic and legal repercussions of one of St. Josemaría’s least known works, La abadesa de las Huelgas, his only book not focused on a spiritual topic. This is followed by an article by Isabel Troconis on the granting of an honorarydoctorate to the then Cardinal Ratzinger by the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarra in 1998. The article gives an overview of the Cardinal’s visit and his five-day stay on the University campus, as well as the process that led to his honorary doctorate. This is followed by a historical and theological study by Juan Rego on the Preces of Opus Dei, a prayer composed by St. Josemaría in 1930 based on the liturgical and antiphonal patrimony of the Roman rite. The section closes with an article by José Luis Illanes that offers a historical and chronological overview of the expressions “divine filiation” and “sense of divine filiation” in the writings of St. Josemaría Escrivá.

The Documenti section includes a single study that brings together, in an annotated edition by Josep-Ignasi Saranyana, the collection of letters between the abbot of the Monastery of Montserrat, Aureli Maria Escarré, and St. Josemaría Escrivá, from 1941 to 1966, with a total of 128 letters.

The Notiziario section provides brief information about the first international congress on the history of Opus Dei, held in the Madrid campus of the University of Navarra in June 2021.

The issue closes with a bibliographical section, which contains a list of publications on St. Josemaría Escrivá between 2014 and 2017.

Romana, n. 74, January-June 2022, p. 96-98.

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