Seville: May 4 to 8, 2023

The city of Seville welcomed the Prelate of Opus Dei from May 4 to 8. In the Andalusian capital, a few hours after his arrival Monsignor Ocáriz visited the Basilica of the Gran Poder, which has the well-known sculpture of Christ bearing the cross on his shoulders, an image so greatly loved by the Sevillian people.

On the 5th, the Prelate went to the Cathedral, where he prayed before Our Lady of the Kings, patroness of the city, and greeted the archbishop, Most Rev. José Ángel Saiz Meneses.

During his stay in Seville, he received people from the Attendis school organization, which has twenty schools in Andalusia and Extremadura and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. He also visited the Albaydar educational center and Alborán High School, two corporate works of Opus Dei,

He also had three get-togethers with families in the Cartuja Center auditorium in Seville, each with more than 2,500 people from Andalusia and Extremadura present. Responding to questions and testimonies from the audience, he invited everyone to carry out a hope-filled apostolate. He encouraged the grandmother of Pedro Ballester, a young numerary who died of cancer in 2018 in Manchester, England, to share her human and Christian wisdom with her grandchildren. Following a question from Teresa and Antonio, a young married couple, he stressed the great potential of social media to do good. Maria and Fran Valderrama, who run a school for fashion designers and organize many events in that field, asked him about reconciling their work and family. “Reconciling means giving priority to the family,” he replied. “It means giving priority to charity, and establishing a hierarchy of values with a flexible order, which each of us voluntarily follows for the benefit of our own family.”

In the various encounters and get-togethers during those days, musical events rooted in local tradition were also present, including some sevillanas by the Sones de Altair choir and a flamenco dance. In a get-together with young people, one girl sang a song she herself had composed. And someone who knew that Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony was being listened to when the young Fernando Ocáriz decided to ask for admission to the Work played an excerpt on the piano. The Prelate was grateful for this and briefly recalled what had happened.

Romana, n. 76, January-June 2023, p. 44-45.

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