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Testimonies

Serving the Church as she wishes to be served

Angela Solferino, lawyer of the Apostolic Tribunal of the Romana Rota, Italy

October 6, 2002

Angela Solferino: I started to get more involved with Opus Dei in 1988 when I enrolled in the Faculty of Canonical Law in the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. I realized while attending the classes there that everything in reference to the doctrine and the Magisterium of the Church was treated coherently and respectfully.

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It is enough to put love into my day

Vittorio Anniballi, Boccea, Rome.

October 6, 2002

Who said that having a big family would necessarily be a burden or limit one’s freedom? Vittorio Anniballi goes against the current as he explains how he found true happiness thanks to his wife, Maria Rita and his seven children. Vittorio Anniballi got married in 1981. He is the owner of a number of apartments in the Boccea area of Rome. He got to know Opus Dei through “Montemario” and “Petranova”, two schools in which parents are very much involved in their children’s education. Vittorio explains, “In 1993, a friend of my wife told me about these two schools. Intrigued by the novel method of teaching, we decided to register one of our children there. While we didn’t know anything about Opus Dei, we decided to try it out. It was such a positive experience that we decided to bring our other two boys to the school as well.

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A man that knew how to love

Marlies Kucking

October 6, 2002

In the 27 years that have gone by since Josemaria Escriva’s “dies natalis”, or birthday into Heaven, on June 26, 1975, many people have asked about the “secret” of his life: why did he attract so many people? Why is it that when others listened to him and read his writings they felt encouraged to return to God, and to see Him as their Father, their Friend, their Love … and to bring others closer to Him? There is only one answer. While his strong personality certainly attracted people, it was above all the love of God that filled his entire life that had this effect.” This is the account given by Marlies Kucking - a member of the central government of the Prelature since 1964 - which was published in the “L’Osservatore Romano” on the occasion of the canonization.

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If you’re going to do something, do it big!

Mary Hamm, Executive director of Centro Tepeyac*, wife and mother of 12 children, Washington, D.C., USA

October 6, 2002

When people ask me how many children I have, I often tell them twelve, plus two non-profits: working with a non-profit is like having another child. It was largely through the inspiration of Josemaria Escriva and the support of Opus Dei that I came to this.

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There is no room for sadness

Pierluigi Bartolomei, professor of the Elis Center Training School, Rome

October 6, 2002

Interviewer: Josemaria Escriva was a happy man. It is enough to see the film clips where he is willing to offer a smile and some words of encouragement to those present. But what is the secret of his constant good humor?

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A flame to set the world on fire with new life

Nadine Chirizzi and Bruno Mastroianni

October 6, 2002

Bruno: We got to know each other during our school years and it was Nadine who gave me the idea of attending a spiritual retreat. It was from there that I wanted to know more about the teachings of Josemaria Escriva.

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Redeeming Time

Philippe D., law student, Paris, France

October 5, 2002

When I first heard about the Founder of Opus Dei’s message, and started trying to put it into practice, I realized more deeply with every week and month that passed, that my hours of study had their own importance in God’s eyes, and that they were the means I had to employ in order to achieve the goals described in the first point of The Way. I could see that the intellectual training I received at school was something that could help me to bring people to God: you don’t have to wait to be “old enough” to “be useful”, “light up”, and lead an “apostolic life”. What I learnt from Saint Josemaria about study enabled me to understand, while still a schoolboy, the importance of being at the top of the class and at the forefront of one’s profession.

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The things that really matter

Horacio Vilaró, businessman

October 2, 2002

My daughter Sofia was born on December 24, 1983, and her mother died a few days later. From then on, helped by her mother’s parents and a large and very supportive family network, I took up my changed life. Six months later I learnt that Sofia had an incurable disease which would progressively attack her muscles, and that her life would inevitably be quite short, although I always hoped it wouldn’t be as short as it was. Some people say to me now: “What a burden it must have been!” But it was just the opposite: Sofia, whose name means wisdom, made life easier for all of us, because with her integrity and the way she faced up to her life and its difficulties, she was a life-line which reminded us where to find the things that really matter.

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Without changing anything, it changed everything

Gustavo Calvo, horseman, architect and painter

October 1, 2002

The fascinating world of horses has led me to dedicate many years to different equestrian sports, and as time passes I feel more and more that it has been my whole life. I have gone in for dressage, and taken part in national and international competitions in the three Olympic disciplines: dressage, jumping and eventing. I’ve also trained and prepared riders for competitions.

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It is fitting that they engraved on his tombstone the words: “The Father”

Evgenii Pazukhin, radio broadcaster, Russia

June 15, 2002

The Way is the fruit of the grace of God, to which the author responded with all of his heart and his entire mind. And yet the book is the natural outgrowth of moving pastoral encounters with many people. From this springs its animated tone, its cultivated language and the brilliant, small fragments that constitute an astonishingly well-integrated mosaic. It is hardly surprising that, in a short time, The Way achieved huge popularity, spreading to all corners of the earth. The book indeed proved to be the way into the hearts and minds of millions.

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His exemplary commitment to the Church

Cardinal Dario Miranda, Archbishop of Mexico City and Primate of Mexico from 1956 to 1977

June 15, 2002

I had the grace to know Msgr. Escriva de Balaguer and to talk to him on different occasions, feeling the warmth of his sincere friendship and his exemplary commitment to the Church until the moment when God called him to His presence

I began to experience great freedom in my life

Savita Borges Professor of Hindi. New Delhi, India

June 1, 2002

When I lived in Iran, my daughter Shailani told me about Opus Dei. Saint Josemaria’s writings opened up a completely new horizon in my life. I learned that God is not a distant being: we can draw close to him as a Father. I began to experience a great freedom in my life. I help out above all by my prayer, so that many others will also make this discovery. I speak about God with my friends and acquaintances and with the people I meet on the train or wherever, if I notice any interest in the faith. Many of these people are of the Hindu faith. Since I am a convert from that religion, we understand each other very well.