270 pages in length, the book contains many testimonies from people who knew Blessed Guadalupe personally. It can be ordered online at Scepter Publishers.
The author, Mercedes Equibar Galarza, has worked as the Deputy Editor of Telva magazine and Director of the Siena Company. She spent two years researching the life of Guadalupe, interviewing two hundred people and working in the Archives of the Prelature of Opus Dei in Rome.
The following extract from the book recounts the beginning of Opus Dei’s apostolic work with women in Bilbao:
The retreats were held in a house loaned to them by a friend. Since it had not been occupied for quite some time, it was not in good condition, but all obstacles were swept aside by the optimism of Guadalupe and everyone’s good will.
I had never done a retreat, recounts Mary Rivero. But there I went. Guadalupe was at the door. She seemed a little older than me, with a lovely appearance, very open and friendly… The first day went by. I took a liking to Guadalupe: she had great human charm, and was very polite, lively and pleasant. That house was not in a very good state. The garden was more of a forest, but Guadalupe was so natural and optimistic that she spoke of us being in what she called a ‘country house,’ and without any great effort helped us to rise above the deficiencies.
There I heard of Opus Dei for the first time and I identified it with Guadalupe. For me Opus Dei was therefore joyful, optimistic, young and attractive. It is not that Guadalupe had gifts of special persuasion, nor was she an extraordinary orator: not at all. What happened is that she inspired confidence. When she spoke it was with such sincerity that she was able to attract people and she breathed confidence. Now at a distance of half a century, I know that all these qualities were the fruit of her supernatural strength. Back then, however, I was not able to see beyond the human qualities that impressed me. Guadalupe was the instrument God used….