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Testimonies

St Josemaria for a patron saint

Jennifer G. Miller

June 25, 2008

A mother blogs about her small son’s devotion to his patron saint, Josemaria.

Thursday is the Optional Memorial of St. Josemaria Escriva. This is one of my son’s patron saints. We named him after this saint in thanksgiving to St. Josemaria. In 2002 we made a pilgrimage to Rome for the canonization of Josemaria with the intention of having a child, as we were having difficulties getting pregnant. The next year our son was born, so in thanksgiving his middle name is a form of Josemaria.

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We all belong to the race of the children of God

Willo Indakuli, caterer, Kenya

May 19, 2008

Interviewer: How did you discover Opus Dei?
Willo Indakuli: I got to know about Opus Dei after I decided to do a training course in catering work at what is now known as Kibondeni College. A Dutch lady called Ria, who was a teacher at Mukumu Girls Secondary School, where I was a student suggested that I apply and helped me with my application. That was in 1966 October. While I was doing my Course, I lived with members of Opus Dei. Along the way, I came to realize that maybe God might be calling me to serve him in Opus Dei and I joined in May, 1967.

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Within the family, a joy shared is a joy doubled, a trouble shared is a trouble halved

Rafael Pich, Spain

March 31, 2008

Rafael Pich*, father of 16 children, engineer and entrepreneur, is a founding member of the Fondation Internationale de la Famille and vice-chairman of the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD), an NGO with consultative status at the UN.

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Point 42 of The Way

William Keenan, writer, investigative journalist and TV critic, England

March 29, 2008

I first came into contact with Opus Dei when a doctor in my parish began holding monthly social gatherings for parishioners at his home. One day he invited a priest of Opus Dei to give a talk. I seem to recall, that the talk wasn’t received too well by many of the liberal Catholics at the meeting. But I found the idea of finding holiness in everyday life and ordinary work fascinating.

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Lebanon, a country in continual reconstruction

Juliana Aljure, architect

March 3, 2008

My grandparents emigrated from Kfour El Arabi in Lebanon to Colombia at the beginning of the twentieth century. My parents taught us to love their former homeland, and I decided to return to the country of my forefathers in 1997.

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Our family has gone through very difficult moments

Mary Bernadette Odero, Nairobi, Kenya

January 24, 2008

I’m a teacher, but at present I work for a big airline in Nairobi. In Kenya where even mothers with small children have to work full time to make ends meet, many families suffer very much. There is no question of staying home to look after the children. We were not spared from this social problem. For us, the solution was to hire a “house help” and work full time.

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A mother blogs about The Way

A British mother of four talks about The Way on her blog and answers questions posted by a reader.

UK, January 21, 2008

I’ve been reading The Way recently (I thought it was about time) and finding it very helpful, whilst at the same time finding myself being thankful that Escriva was not my parish priest (mine takes no prisoners either, but in a very gentle manner). There are several pearls that have jumped out at me on this reading and no doubt many more to come. Take, for example, the following: “The heroic minute. It’s time to get up, on the dot! Without hesitation, a supernatural thought and... up! The heroic minute; here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does not weaken your body” (The Way, 206).

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My daughter, don’t take any more photos of me – pray for me!

Helena Serrano, Roma

January 11, 2008

Helena Serrano is from Cordoba, Spain. She lived and worked in Rome for over twenty years, very close to St Josemaria. During that time, with his encouragement, she developed a special aptitude for photography, and recorded part of the history of Opus Dei with her photographs.

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Accepting my son’s disability with happiness

Ann Jose Varavukala, mother of an autistic child, New Delhi, India

December 28, 2002

Learning about Josemaria Escriva has helped me achieve greater clarity in my faith. By attending the programs of formation offered by the Prelature of Opus Dei, I have received great consolation because they make me understand in a deeper way the graces we receive in the Sacraments, particularly the Sacrament of Confession and the Sacrament of Communion. I see Mother Mary and the Communion of Saints as a source of help that I had not known about before. I have come to a fuller happy acceptance of my son’s disability as a gift from God.

He always took care of me in a very fatherly way

John Henry, Medical Doctor, London, Great Britain

December 21, 2002

I met Saint Josemaria during his stays in England during the summer of 1960, 1961 and 1962, shortly after I had asked to be admitted to Opus Dei. Later, I saw him during a short trip to Rome; he invited me because I was sick. During those occasions I was impressed by the way he always gave clear and encouraging answers regardless of the person who was asking the question. The answer that impressed me the most was when someone asked him: “What is the most difficult thing that the Lord asks of us?” and the answer that he gave almost instantaneously without any pause to think, was “Love everybody equally, without exception”. Being very active he was also very affectionate and kind. He always took care of me in a very fatherly way.

Lessons in Practical Chrisitanity

Abraham Thomas, New Delhi, India

December 14, 2002

I like to describe his teachings as, “Lessons in practical Christianity”. He takes simple topics and backs them up with clear explanations. His approach takes the form of a conversation and leads you to make concrete resolutions; this is why his books are good guides for meditation.

I could not stay passive

James Burfitt, Professor. Sydney, Australia

December 9, 2002

I was born in a Catholic family and even though I got to know about Opus Dei when I was young, I was never interested in it. I had already started to work when, thanks to my brother, I went to a spiritual retreat. I started to go to classes of Christian formation and I rediscovered the possibility of having a life of relationship with God. I realized that God had given me a lot and that I had to correspond to that. Saint Josemaria was my teacher. While I was reading his books I had the impression that they were written for me and I started to discover that I could not stay passive. I started to wish that I could love God passionately and I discovered my vocation to Opus Dei. Presently I am a husband and a father first and foremost, and an educator after that.