An Illustrated Biography of Saint Josemaria

"Wanting Jesus Alone to Shine" is a biography of the founder of Opus Dei illustrated with over 300 photos, maps, infographics and autograph texts. Its authors, Jesús Gil y Enrique Muñiz, say they hope the book "will enable readers to enter more fully into the life of Saint Josemaria."

Wanting Jesus Alone to Shine is being published by the St. Josemaria Institute.

The print edition will be in stock mid-July. It can also be downloaded as an eBook at these sites:

Apple Store

Amazon (Kindle)

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With an illustrated biography, the well-known proverb can easily come to mind: “An image is worth a thousand words.” Wanting Jesus Alone to Shine lives up to this expectation. With its 300 photos, 14 maps and infographics, and 12 autograph texts, the book offers readers approximately 1 image for each 60 words.

The electronic version is distributed free of charge through the main platforms, such as Apple Books and Amazon. The printed version, designed in a global standard format (Crown Quarto – 189 x 246 mm), will be available in bookstores starting mid-July and also directly online through print-on-demand services.

A visual narration of the life of Saint Josemaria

The authors of the publication, Jesús Gil and Enrique Muñiz, tell us: “In this biography, the visual content provides a deeper, more complete understanding of a person’s life. We want the images to help readers to share more fully in Saint Josemaria’s life: not only to understand it intellectually, but also to share in some of the feelings that accompanied it. For some readers it will be their first contact with the saint of the ordinary, as Saint John Paul II called him; for others this book is a family album.

For example, we read: “In 1910 his sister Rosario, the youngest, died at nine months of age; two years later Lolita died, at the age of five; and the following year Asunción, who everyone called Chon, at the age of eight.” It is easier for readers to share in the family’s emotions by looking at the death reminders of the three sisters, along with a photo of Lolita and Chon when they were about three and five years old.

Another example. At the time of Saint Josemaria’s First Holy Communion, he was described as “a happy boy, with a strong piety, lively, hard-working and a good student. In short: a normal boy.” The reader will find it helpful to see a photograph of him at the age of 10 in his First Communion portrait.

One last example. Saint Josemaría said that his father “died exhausted, at only 57 years of age; but he was always smiling.” The reader can verify this in a photo of Doña Dolores Albás and Don José Escrivá in 1922, where Don José is seen at the age of 55.

An adaptation of the book about the founder of Opus Dei’s beatification

These family photographs are among the unpublished items that the new biography includes; or to be more precise, the renewed biography. In order to prepare Wanting Jesus Along to Shine, the authors have drawn material from the book distributed in 1992 to participants in the beatification of Josemaria Escriva. Written by José Miguel Cejas (who died in 2016) and designed by José Luis Saura, it was translated into several languages. Jesus Gil and Enrique Muñiz, who helped produce the beatification book, have revised, corrected and updated the text, and added many new items, so that it is presented as a different work.

Among the new contributions are graphics such as maps of various Spanish cities where Saint Josemaria lived: Logroño, Saragossa, Burgos and Madrid. Other new items help readers to understand more clearly events such as the passage through the Pyrenees in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War; and trips in Europe between 1948 and 1958 to encourage the apostolic expansion of Opus Dei.

Some chapters have added new photos of images of Saint Josemaria placed in churches for public veneration. They are a reflection of how his devotion has spread in recent decades, especially since he was canonized in 2002. There are also references to the beatification of Alvaro del Portillo, the founder’s first successor at the head of Opus Dei, who was beatified in Madrid on September 27, 2014, and to the beatification of Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri , which was held in Madrid on May 18, 2019. These testify to the spread of holiness resulting from the founder of Opus Dei's teaching.

Jesús Gil (Logroño, 1976) is a priest of the Opus Dei Prelature with a doctorate in Spiritual Theology. Previously, he studied Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Navarre, and worked as a journalist for Diario de Burgos and La Voz de Galicia. He has also published In the Footprints of our Faith, which describes sites in the Holy Land.

Enrique Muñiz (Madrid, 1962) has a degree in Hispanic Philology from the Complutense University. He now works at the Beta Films Foundation and has worked in corporate communications for more than thirty years.