Religious communities can also be appointed cooperators of Opus Dei. Their contribution consists in daily prayer for the evangelizing work of the Prelature. At present more than 500 cooperating communities of both men and women support the Prelature with their prayers in many countries throughout the world.
On the occasion of the news of the coming canonization of Blessed Josemaria, the superiors of many of these communities have written to the Prelate to congratulate him and to share their joy. Here are a few paragraphs from among the many messages received.
The prioress of the convent of Discalced Carmelites of Coimbra writes the following: "As cooperators of Opus Dei for several decades, we would like to express to your Excellency our joy at the coming canonization of Blessed Josemaria." And she adds, "This joy is shared by Sister Lucia, who repeats what she already said on the occasion of the beatification of the Servant of God." Sister Lucia, who saw our Lady at Fatima, met the founder of Opus Dei and affectionately "pushed" him to begin apostolic work in Portugal.
Another sister referred to the coming canonization in these words: "I can't explain in a few lines what I feel at this time. . . . The saints have always been a great encouragement to me, but in this case, my devotion to Blessed Josemaria and my affection for Opus Dei are an even greater stimulus. The writings of the Father have sustained me for a long time, and, since I was named Superior, they are the font at which I drink and give to drink to the sisters that our Lord has entrusted to me."
The superior of another community of nuns wrote on January 9, the centennial of the birth of the founder of Opus Dei. "Another source of joy and thanksgiving is the approval of the miracle for the canonization, which will soon bring Blessed Josemaria to the highest elevation of the altars. For this we want to congratulate you and share in your joy. May he, on this occasion, help the Church in its needs and gain peace for hearts, for families and for the world. . . . With all affection in our Lord and in the name of the whole community we will continue offering our prayers, sacrifices and our whole
consecrated life for Your Excellency and for the WORK founded by Blessed Josemaria."
A member of a religious community of men in Spain also referred to the Centennial in his letter: "Today is a great day not only for you, but also for the whole Church, even more for the whole world. . . . Since five o'clock this morning I have been giving thanks to God from the depths of my soul for the ineffable gift that he has given us in Blessed Josemaria. . . . My many ailments will not allow me to attend the canonization of Blessed Josemaria, but I will rejoice a great deal on that occasion, for ever since his
beatification I have prayed everyday for his early canonization."
The following lines were received from a community in France: "We will be wholeheartedly united to the different ceremonies that will take place in Rome to honor the future saint, in thanksgiving for all that he accomplished in his life and for all the favors received through his intercession."
In the letters that have been received one finds a shared feeling which is summed up well in the following lines: "We rejoice in the coming canonization of Blessed Josemaria, in the assurance that this is a gift for the whole Church." The support of the prayer and the affection of all of these people is a motive of profound gratitude to God, who has wanted the saints to become instruments of unity in his Church.