Enrique Muñiz, author of this biographical profile (which can be downloaded free of charge in a digital version or purchased in book form), says he has not tried to write a new biography, but a lively book with many photos in the printed and PDF versions. His goal is to help readers come closer to the figure of Isidoro and his example of the daily search for sanctity in ordinary life.
Isidoro, who was a high school classmate of Saint Josemaria in Logroño, was the person the founder most relied on at the beginning of the Work, and the first who persevered in the vocation to Opus Dei, after the founder explained it to him in 1930.
“In the introduction to the book,” Muñiz says, “I explain why I consider myself a ‘neighbor’ of Isidoro, and I mention many other people who have plenty of reasons to do likewise: “his fellow townsmen in Buenos Aires, especially his neighbors on Corrientes Avenue at the corner of Riobamba, where Isidoro was born and where the tango first came into existence; also the parishioners at Saint Albert the Great, in Vallecas, Madrid, where his mortal remains lie; and of course the industrial engineers and railroad employees who were his colleagues. And his close ties with the lives of many others don’t end there. Isidoro was a migrant (both in Argentina, since he was the son of Spaniards, and in Spain, where his family migrated back to from Argentina. He found his studies hard going (his teachers doubted whether he was going to finish high school and it took him three years to pass the entrance exam for the School of Engineers). He lost his father at the age of nine and his grandmother in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic; his brother Fernando died on the feast of the Epiphany in 1920 from typhoid fever, and his brother Paco died in the battle of Brunete during the Spanish Civil War. His family was ruined financially by the bankruptcy of the Banco Español del Río de la Plata. It was a large family, with five children, whose parents owned a haberdashery (what we would today call self-employed entrepreneurs). One of his hobbies was collecting postage stamps, and he liked to make simple crystal radios. He was exacting in taking care of the accounts in his family's home – and in his home of Opus Dei. He was short (about 5 feet 4 inches), used glasses, and liked to go hiking in the mountains…
“Besides the many testimonies collected after his death, I have of course made us of the biography of Isidoro written by Jose Miguel Pero-Sanz in 1996 (now in its 5th edition), the emails of thanksgiving for favors granted through his intercession received in the Office for the Causes of the Saints in Opus Dei, and the many messages that reach us through the mailbox next to his tomb.
“The book contains a number of previously unpublished photographs, including the crucifix before which he made an especially important decision. I have also been able to locate the clinic where he spent most of his time during his final illness.
(Turn on English subtitles for video above)
“Isidoro was very normal. The good example of normal people who find God in the ordinary events of their daily lives – ‘the men and women who work hard to bring home bread for the table,’ as Pope Francis said – help us to be better. Hopefully these pages will encourage people to ask for a miracle through the intercession of Isidoro, and will make possible his beatification… and then another one, if God wills, for his canonization.”
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