Launching the exhibition, the Minister for Local Government, Mr Tony Kelly, said that he hoped that it would help the message of the new saint to reach a wider audience.
Others who spoke at the exhibition included Monsignor John Masso, Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in Australia and New Zealand, and Virginia Monagle, a co-founder of Parents for Education Foundation which operates a number of schools in Sydney, including Redfield College and the Tangara School for girls.
St Josemaría, who was born in Barbastro Spain on the 9th of January 1902 and died on the 26th of June 1975, founded Opus Dei on October 2, 1928. It now has 80, 000 members worldwide.
St Josemaría was canonised on the 6th of October 2002 by Pope John Paul II in St
Peter’s square before a crowd of several hundred thousand people from around the world.
The exhibition, which is titled The Greatness of Ordinary Life, looks at key aspects of Saint Josemaría’s life and writings and at his impact on the Church and society. It includes a number of testimonials by prominent people who had first-hand experience of the saint and of Opus Dei.
Pope Paul VI is quoted as saying: “He is one of the individuals in the history of the Church who has received the most charisms and who responded to the gifts given by God with the most generosity.”
The martyred Bishop of El Salvador, Dr Oscar Romero, said: “I was fortunate to have met Monsignor Escrivá and to have received from him encouragement and strength to remain faithful to Christ’s unchangeable doctrine. He managed to unite in his life a continuous dialogue with God and great humility: it was clear that he was a man of God.”
Sydney doctor Ben Haneman said: “Being Jewish, I believe in God and therefore in man and in his spirituality. My life has been enriched by my contact with Opus Dei and the fact that I am Jewish has not been an obstacle.”
And speaking at Saint Josemaría’s canonisation last year, Pope John Paul II said: “It could be said that he was the saint of the ordinary.”
In his address at the launch, Fr Masso, spoke of his personal experiences with the saint before coming to Australia. He spoke of the deep love that the saint showed for all of those who came into contact with him, explaining that he was always extremely affectionate with everyone, giving his full attention to whoever he was with.