One hundred African women will have access to scholarships to do research in Spanish and African universities thanks to the donations which will be collected on the occasion of the beatification of the Madrid’s chemistry graduate of Opus Dei Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri, which will be raised to the altars on May 18.
The scholarships will be awarded for a period of 10 years through the 'Guadalupe Scholarships' project of the NGO Harambee, with the purpose of promoting leadership of African women in scientific research so that they are able to promote and boost the capacity of research centres in their own countries, explained Raquel Rodríguez, a director of Harambee Spain.
— Opus Dei (España) (@opusdei_es) March 28, 2019
The head of the international organizing committee of the beatification, Monica Herrero, explained that the purpose of this initiative was to give to this event a marked solidarity character, in keeping with the social commitment that was present in the different stages of the life of Ortiz de Landázuri, both in Mexico and Spain.
Herrero recalled that Ortiz de Landázuri was “a normal person of the diocese of Madrid, born in the district of Malasaña, who was a member of Opus Dei, with an ordinary life, and who attained holiness by carrying out her daily tasks. She brought the Christian spirit both to the most disadvantaged and to her peers, through her work as a chemistry teacher.” Her biography, therefore, is an example of “the saints next door” proposed by Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate.
Pioneer for her timeThe future Blessed also stood out for being a pioneer woman for her time, one of the first women to study a science career at a Spanish University at a time when female presence in the university classrooms was very low, and who obtained a doctorate degree, thanks precisely to a scholarship granted by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) (High Council of Scientific Research). Besides, she began the evangelizing work of Opus Dei in Mexico, and was the first directress of the Zurbarán student Residence in Madrid, the first university residence for women promoted by Opus Dei in the world.
The person in charge of Communications about the beatification, Carmen García Herrería, listed a series of channels which will make it easy for people to take part in the beatification, such as TV transmission and streaming, messaging through Whatsapp, the website www.guadalupe19.org and the weekly newsletter, an app and a multimedia documentary or a series of products downloadable from the Internet such as posters, exhibitions, a children's biography or a notebook with chemistry experiments developed by Guadalupe.
Chemistry and spiritual life
On the Opus Dei website one can also download the book ‘Letras a un santo’ (Letters to a saint), that contains excerpts from the 350 letters written by Ortiz de Landázuri to Saint Josemaría. “The letters show her interiority, her virtues and her joyful character,” explained the diocesan postulator of the cause of beatification, José Carlos Martín de la Hoz.
Ortiz de Landázuri attained holiness, according to the postulator, "as a person who reached intimacy with Jesus Christ in her daily work and who spread that love in her own environment.”
The organizing committee has already planned many meetings and activities to make known the figure of the future Blessed in different cities of Spain and in some places or countries where she lived, such as Mexico or Rome. Among the events held in Madrid was a colloquium at the College of Chemists last March 5, as a tribute from her professional colleagues, and a similar event has been planned for April 24 at the Faculty of Chemistry of the Complutense University.