June 26 in Rome

On June 26, the liturgical feast of Blessed Josemaria, Bishop Javier Echevarria celebrated a Mass in his honor in the Basilica of St. Eugene in Valle Giulia. Around fifteen hundred people attended the ceremony.

The Prelate of Opus Dei began his homily by noting that "June 26, the anniversary of the 'dies natalis' of Blessed Josemaria in the glory of Heaven, is for all of us a festive day: a day in which our gratitude to God is expressed in a renewed effort at conversion, in a desire to follow more closely the founder of Opus Dei's example of faithfulness to the Christian vocation."

"Every day we receive letters from widely-scattered parts of the world --" he said at another point of his homily, "letters which tell of spiritual and material favors received through [Blessed Josemaria's] mediation. In the devotion evoked by this unforgettable servant of God, this good and faithful servant, a devotion which the pontifical decree on the heroic quality of his virtues described as a 'true phenomenon of popular piety,' one can see the fulfillment of a divine plan. Our Lord has chosen him to raise in many souls the awareness that all of the ordinary activities of life can be turned into prayer, into a path and means of sanctification, into a fountain of peace and of joy in hearts.

"An encounter with Blessed Josemaria or with his writings has changed the lives of many of us, has led us to meet Christ, to listen to him and to put ourselves into a constant conversation with him, to hear his call, to struggle to give witness to a fully consistent Christianity. In one way or another, all of us have been led by him to a real conversion, to the discovery of prayer, to the practice of penance, to the joy of a diligent participation in the sacraments, especially those of Penance and the Eucharist. Thanks to his teachings, a vision of active dedication to building the Kingdom of Christ in the world has opened up before us. And thus we can consider ourselves his children; we can be sure that he, good Father as he is, will not fail to intercede and help us obtain the graces that we need.

"In particular, we entrust to his intercession today our struggle for sanctity in the midst of the world. Blessed Josemaria taught us to cultivate this great ideal, the only truly necessary one, in our everyday life, in those occupations of ours which seem common but which hide something divine and which constitute the drama of our whole day. 'Sanctity is not a matter of doing more difficult things each day, but of doing them with more and more love.' Let us ask him to help us assimilate this truth, the authentic heart of his spiritual message. Let us ask that he let us see the paternal face of God, which in every tiny gesture looks to us for a little more love, and that he teach us to transform our whole day into prayer, into dialogue with God."