MANILA, June 24, 2015 –- Forty years after his death, St. Josemaria Escriva is proving to be a truly powerful intercessor for families, says the current Opus Dei prelate.
“Forty years have gone by since that 26th of June in 1975, when God called our Founder to the joy of heaven. How many gifts he has gained for us since then! And he has certainly fulfilled his promise,” Bishop Javier Echevarría, the present Prelate of Opus Dei, wrote in his June 2015 pastoral letter.
All throughout these years, many persons who have benefitted from St. Josemaria’s intercession attest that many favors received were for fostering the good of families.
Novenas for marriage, family
For this, two novenas, available at the Opus Dei website www.opusdei.ph,the Novena for a Happy and Faithful Marriage and the Novena for the Family, have been composed, inspired by St. Josemaria’s desire to help all married couples and those preparing for marriage to find meaning and encouragement in their vocation through a commitment to daily prayer and friendship with God, especially when facing inevitable difficulties and times of trial.
The novenas contain daily reflections from the writings of St. Josemaria, prayers for the family, and the prayer for the intercession of the saint.
Through reflection and prayer, the novena is a guide that helps spouses bring to God the needs and challenges of daily life, while striving to attain virtues – especially purity, humility, generosity, and love – that lead to happy, faithful marriages.
In numerous occasions Pope Francis has asked the faithful to pray for the upcoming Synod for the Family. Opus Dei members believe these novenas respond to the Pope’s invitation and pray for all families around the world.
Besides the Novena for a Happy and Faithful Marriage and the Novena for the Family, which have resulted in numerous favors, three other novenas are also available: the Novena for the Sick, the Novena for Work, and the Novena for Forgiveness.
June 26 Masses
Echevarria, who for many years served as St. Josemaria’s secretary, recalled that in the final years of his life, the holy priest would assure his spiritual sons and daughters, “From heaven, I will help you more.”
Masses to commemorate the liturgical feast of St. Josemaria Escriva will be celebrated in at least 75 churches in 32 cities or dioceses all over the Philippines, announced the Information Office of Opus Dei in the Philippines.
It is now a tradition in many places to celebrate the Holy Mass on June 26 in honor of St. Josemaría, priest and founder of Opus Dei.
St. Josemaria believed that “those who are called to the married state will, with the grace of God, find within their state everything they need to be holy, to identify themselves each day more with Jesus Christ, and to lead those with whom they live to God.” (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCPNews)