"God willing," wrote one woman from Colombia, "we can attend the canonization -- my husband, my children and I. We want to thank God for all the help we have received through the intercession of Blessed Josemaría." (Taken from the "Why Go" section of www.escriva-canonization.org .)
Since June 26, 1975, the day Blessed Josemaría died, reports of favors attributed to his intercession began arriving from all over the world at the headquarters of Opus Dei in Rome: conversions, resolutions to really practice the Christian faith, cures, material favors.
We present below several stories from recent years, which give a glimpse of the world-wide devotion to Blessed Josemaría that the Holy See described as “an authentic phenomenon of popular piety.” Few if any of these people had met the founder of Opus Dei, but their words reflect a closeness to him drawn from reading his books, seeing films of his catechesis in various countries, or simply praying to him.
It happened on June 26 D.V., Río Piedras, Puerto Rico
Our son told us he had decided to have a civil marriage with his non-Catholic fiancée. Our concern and anguish led us to seek out the help and advice of a priest, who confirmed the gravity of the situation. We began praying for the intercession of Blessed Josemaría, and on the anniversary of his entrance into heaven, we commended ourselves to him with great faith during Mass.
That same evening, when we returned home, our son told us that he had just spoken with his fiancée and they had decided to be married in the Church. After fulfilling all the civil and religious requirements, they received the holy Sacrament of Matrimony.
We are grateful and give thanks to God, for having heard our request through the intercession of Blessed Josemaría and for the blessings we have received.
A Cure More than Skin Deep V.M., Greenwich, Connecticut
The husband of a friend of mine was suffering from psoriasis, a skin disease. Despite the treatment of various doctors, his illness persisted. There was no known cure, but my friend and I began to pray to Blessed Josemaría every day asking him to help bring about an improvement in her husband’s condition. A few weeks later, her husband went to another doctor who told him to stop eating certain foods. The results were surprising. He was soon cured.
Now that I think about it, I realize that other "cures" have taken place since I sent the prayer card to my friend. Her husband has begun attending Sunday Mass again. She and her husband are trying to regularize their marital situation. Her oldest son, who prays the rosary with her every day, wants to become a priest. And, finally, her husband has helped his brother and his wife to return to the Church.
Mother and child are well Yogyacarta, Indonesia
When my sister delivered her baby, she had a massive hemorrhage which led to profound shock (the vital sign monitor for her heart appeared to be going flat). The priest administered the sacrament of anointing of the sick. Her husband said the prayer on the founder of Opus Dei’s prayer card, asking for the intercession of Blessed Josemaria Escriva. My sister recovered—and felt she had really been helped by that prayer. She was safe, and the baby also, and he has been given the name Leonardo Ardyani Escrivá Pamungkas in gratitude to Blessed Josemaría. We have made copies of the prayer card and it has been prayed by hundreds of people.
An armed robbery Nairobi, Kenya
Early one Sunday I was traveling by car with another woman to Naivasha, about 50 miles from Nairobi. It was early and there was not much traffic. We entered a heavy fog, and two men with pistols stopped us. As soon as I saw them I said to Blessed Josemaría: “Father, we are in your hands.” My companion told me later that she prayed: “Father, help us.”
The two men got into the car and asked for money. They took what I had, which wasn’t much, but they didn’t harm us. After making us drive a short distance they got out of the car and let us continue on. My companion was carrying quite a bit of money, which they did not take. We also had a video camera and another camera in the car, but they failed to see them.
Everyone who heard the story said it is a miracle. I know that we owe it to our Father that they did not hurt us or rob anything of value.
A job in my home city S.R., Hobart, Tasmania
For the last few months I have been asking Blessed Josemaría Escrivá to help me find a new job. Although I enjoy my profession, with its duties and responsibilities, the environment at work was making me feel quite uncomfortable.
This was the first time that I sought his intercession, and I was surprised by the rapid reply. I received a call from a member of parliament to work for him in my home city. The offer was like a gift from heaven.
When I accepted the job, I asked Blessed Josemaría to help find another job for the person that I was replacing, and on the very next day he received a good offer from a government agency.
I give thanks to our Lady and to Blessed Josemaría for having interceded for my needs, helping me to find a good job and to be reunited with my family and friends.
An aunt and uncle transformed Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast
After fifteen year of married life, my uncle and his wife separated, following many arguments. For the next ten years, they lived apart. Since it was becoming apparent that one of their six children was turning out badly, I decided to take the first steps towards reconciliation. I entrusted the matter to Blessed Josemaría. After a novena, I visited both of them. Bit by bit, they appeared to be moving towards reconciliation. I wrote each of them a long letter.
Three months later, they informed me of their decision to start married life anew, but with a true Christian home this time. I gave thanks to God for this turn of events and asked Blessed Josemaría to help their efforts. My uncle and aunt agreed to begin preparing for baptism. A year later, the priest, who was very happy with their progress, administered the sacraments of baptism and marriage.
After giving thanks for this second step, I asked for the conversion of the children. This is now happening, and all 6 children have begun preparing to receive baptism. I give thanks to Blessed Josemaría for his help in obtaining all these favors.
A Second Child Singapore
A friend of mine had hoped to have a second child for some time. She was so anxious that she had decided to consult a doctor to see if she could have a child.
When she told me about this, I prayed to Blessed Josemaría Escrivá every day that she would have another child. About two weeks ago she called me very happily to give me the good news. It had just been confirmed that she was expecting another child.
I told her that I had prayed to Blessed Josemaría and she was very appreciative.
They didn’t separate C.G. Coli, Italia
In the spring of 1997 my daughter and her husband came to my house and told me that they had decided to get a divorce. I felt desperate, especially when I thought of the effect this would have on my two granddaughters.
Around then I met a lady who gave me a prayer card of Blessed Josemaría. I asked him to intercede so that these two persons whom God had united in marriage would not break up. A few weeks later, one of my granddaughters, who is twelve, called me and told me that her parents had planted an olive tree in the garden. They didn’t separate, and since that day things have gotten better and better and I feel a great peace.
Since I realize this was a grace received through the intercession of Blessed Josemaría Escriva, I consider it my duty to put it on record.
He made his confession before dying E.L.R., Zapopan, Mexico
I was very concerned about a neighbor who had been gravely ill for more than a year and didn’t want to seek reconciliation with God. He had heart and kidney operations, and the incisions refused to heal because he suffered from diabetes. I said to a friend of mine: “Let’s ask Blessed Josemaría Escrivá to see to it that he doesn’t die without being reconciled with God.” His situation became worse. When asked about confession, he wouldn’t give in. We continued our novena. During this period his mother visited him and told him that he should go to confession because of the seriousness of his illness. He then lapsed into a coma and we intensified our prayer. On the last day he became conscious, asked for a priest, made his confession, and died shortly afterwards. Father Josemaría had heard us.