HomeDocumentationHistorical NotesWhat difficulties did Opus Dei meet with at the start?
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Historical Notes

What difficulties did Opus Dei meet with at the start?

Tags: October 2, 1928, Founding of Opus Dei
A bell that was pealing in the church of Our Lady of the Angels when St Josemaria
A bell that was pealing in the church of Our Lady of the Angels when St Josemaria "saw" Opus Dei
Difficulties arose from different directions. There were Catholics who couldn’t understand Opus Dei’s message that holiness was for everyone, including ordinary lay-people. Some people judged Opus Dei according to their own criteria, unable to recognize its members’ freedom and personal responsibility. There were certain anti-Christian factions, most notably in the period leading up to the Spanish Civil War and during it. Plus severe money difficulties, since most of its early members were students who were not yet earning, while Father Josemaria himself had his mother, sister and brother to support. And finally, complications arising from the fact that there was no obvious place for the new foundation in the Church’s current canon law.

In Father Josemaria’s concept or vision of Opus Dei, right from the start, the men and women in Opus Dei were Catholic lay faithful who as such had received the Christian vocation at Baptism, and lived it out to the full in their ordinary family, work and social surroundings. They had the same freedom as anyone else. He saw them as being in the same position as the early Christians with respect to the world they lived in. This novel foundation was neither a religious order, nor some kind of political faction, and did not fit into any of the ready-made structures or categories that people in those days were accustomed to.

See further: Andres Vazquez de Prada, The Founder of Opus Dei, vol. 1, chapter 8.