St Josemaria at the Delhi Cathedral

A statue of St Josemaría Escrivá was blessed and installed in the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi (India) on Tuesday 26 June, the feast day of the saint.

Archbishop Vincent Concessao was the main celebrant of the evening Mass in honor of the Founder of Opus Dei.

Quoting Pope Pius X in his homily, Archbishop Concessao told those assembled that the most pressing need of the Church is that we need more saints – and that this was the central message of St. Josemaría: all of the baptized are called to be saints – “not only saints in niches,” said the Archbishop, “but sweating in the factories, working in the offices…” carrying out professions of all kinds, that shouldn’t be seen as obstacles to holiness but rather as a means to achieve it.

“No matter what your work is,” the Archbishop said, “you are serving other people, and if you do it for love, aware of God’s plans for you, you can identify yourself with Christ in your work and draw closer to God.”

All of the baptized are called to be saints “not only saints in niches but sweating in the factories, working in the offices…”, said the Archbishop.

Mr. Bernard Alick, an Indian artist painted the 1.1 meter resin statue which was made according to the original sculpture by Baldessari. Followed by the Archbishop and the other five concelebrants, Mr Alick was proud to be among those carrying the new statue in procession at the end of the Mass from the presbytery to the Baptistery Chapel of the Cathedral, where the statue has been placed.

Some participants placed a bouquet of flowers by the statue just after the installation ceremony. Leena Khalko, a housekeeper from Jharkhand, said she plans to bring fresh flowers regularly and address her petitions to God, through the intercession of St. Josemaría, at the Cathedral of Delhi.

Josemaría Escrivá died in 1975. He met some of the first Indian men and women who joined Opus Dei. Full of admiration and love for India when he was alive, St. Josemaría, ‘the saint of the ordinary’ (in words of Pope John Paul II) had this country with its people very much in his heart and prayers. 

Certainly now he keeps doing the same from Heaven, always ready to intercede before God for those who ask him for help.