Papal statements on Saint Josemaría

A selection of statements about Saint Josemaría by various Popes.

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John Paul II

"Josemaría Escrivá has highlighted all the redemptive power of the faith, and its capacity to transform both individuals and the social structures in which men and women work out their ideals and their ambitions…. He was a real master of Christian living and reached the heights of contemplation with continuous prayer, constant mortification, a daily effort to work carried out with exemplary docility to the motions of the Holy Spirit, with the aim of serving the Church as the Church wishes to be served."

(May 17, 1992, Apostolic Brief)

"His life is marked by Christian humanism, with the unmistakable seal of goodness, meekness of heart, the hidden suffering by which God purifies and sanctifies his chosen ones."

(May 17, 1992, Beatification Homily)

"How could one fail to see in the example, teaching and word of Blessed Josemaría Escrivá an eminent witness of Christian heroism in the carrying out of ordinary human activities?"

(May 18, 1992, Audience with pilgrims to the beatification)

John Paul I

"Msgr. Escrivá, with gospel in hand, constantly taught: God does not want us simply to be good; he wants us to be saints, through and through. However, he wants us to attain that sanctity, not by doing extraordinary things, but rather through ordinary common activities. It is the way they are done that must be uncommon. There, in the middle of the street, in the office, in the factory, we can be holy, provided we do our job competently, for love of God and cheerfully, so that everyday work becomes, not ‘a daily tragedy,’ but rather ‘a daily smile.’”

(From Il Gazzettino of Venice, July 25, 1978, a month before he was elected Pope)

Paul VI

"Your words resonate with the burning and generous spirit of the whole Institution, born in this time of ours as a vigorous expression of the perennial youth of the Church, fully open to the demands of a modern apostolate, ever more active, flowing and organized. We look with paternal satisfaction on all that Opus Dei has achieved and is achieving for the kingdom of God, the desire of doing good that guides it, the burning love for the Church and its visible head that distinguishes it, and the ardent zeal for souls that impels it along the arduous and difficult paths of the apostolate of presence and witness in every sector of contemporary life."

(From a handwritten letter to Msgr. Escrivá, October 1, 1964)