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In the Biblical story, Raphael was the archangel who accompanied the young man Tobias on a quest to restore his family's fortune and find the love of his life. Fr. Josemaría saw him as a guide for young people who are launching out on their own path in the world, and seeking to make of their life a sincere gift of self, whether in marriage, as in the case of Tobias, or in apostolic celibacy, like St. John the teenage apostle, the other patron saint that Fr. Josemaría suggested as a protector and model for young people.

So how did the St. Raphael work take shape? “El Sotanillo” was just one of their hangouts. Other times they would meet in the park or chat as they walked along the street, sometimes in small groups, sometimes one one-on-one. Fr. Josemaría tried to help each one of his young friends to come face to face with Christ, to get to know Him on a first-name basis, and follow Him day by day, in a personal, practical way, because "being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a Person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction" (Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, no. 1).

These conversations of spiritual accompaniment were key for helping each person to develop a life of prayer, discern the work of grace in his or her soul and make big ideals – like the message of transforming the world from within with Christ – a daily reality.

You have to discover who you are. (...) Becoming a saint means becoming more fully yourself, becoming what the Lord wished to dream and create... Leave a mark on this world, a unique mark that only you can leave.
Pope Francis, Christus Vivit, no. 162

He also offered lots of encouragement, since our good desires often remain just that, as we come up against our limitations and weaknesses. But that’s not the most important part. Fr. Josemaria compared the spiritual life to a game. It doesn’t matter how often you fall; the thing is to bounce back and keep playing. With God’s grace, we can even bounce back higher than before. It all depends on how much we love.