Loading...


 


OPINION


FEATURE


FEATURED CATHOLIC WEBSITE

Pope blesses statue of Opus Dei founder


Pope Benedict XVI yesterday blessed a statue of the founder of Opus Dei, saying he hopes it will serve as inspiration for those who passed by to "do one's daily work in the spirit of Christ."

CLICK HEREThe Guardian/Associated Press reports that the six metre white Carrara marble statue, placed in a niche of the outside wall of St Peter's Basilica, depicts Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer with his hands open in a welcoming gesture and two cherubs at his feet holding a sculpted Bible. Balaguer founded Opus Dei in Spain in 1928.

"May all those who stop to contemplate the statue be encouraged to live their daily work in the spirit of Christ and in ardent love for the work of redemption," said Benedict, who stopped to bless the statue at the end of his general audience before returning to Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence in the Alban hills outside Rome.

Opus Dei has more than 80,000 members worldwide, many of them lay people but also hundreds of priests and bishops.

Its mission - to give lay people a dynamic role in spreading the word of God - was backed by the late Pope John Paul II, who championed the movement as a means of confronting the secularization of society and reinforcing his conservative doctrine. But Opus Dei - Latin for "God's work" - is also accused of secretive, cult-like practices.

Sculptor Romano Cosci, present at the unveiling ceremony, worked two years on the statue, which joins eight others depicting saints. The Vatican authorized statues to be placed in the three dozen niches of the basilica's exterior wall in 1999.

"I hope that my work can transmit, at least in part, all that St. Josemaria gave to me and in truth to all," the artist said at the unveiling ceremony. He also recounted a fall from the scaffolding during which he hit his head was taken to a hospital. "Thanks to God (and St. Josemaria) I was not seriously injured," he said.

John Paul canonised Escriva in 2002, only 27 years after his death, one of the shortest waiting times in Vatican history. In 1982, John Paul granted the organization the status of personal prelature, showing his favour for the group known for its rigorous defence of Church teaching.

The ceremony was attended by five cardinals and several hundred pilgrims, many of them Opus Dei members.

SOURCE
Pope Blesses Statue of Opus Dei Founder (The Guardian/Associated Press 14/9/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Opus Dei Australia | A Statue of St. Josemaria in St. Peter's
Warrane College
Escrivaworks

ARCHIVE
Vatican writer's fair and balanced assessment of Opus Dei (CathNews 30/3/05)
Opus Dei founder canonised (CathNews 8/10/02)
1000 Aussies fly to Rome for Opus Dei founder canonisation (CathNews 3/10/02)

MORE OPUS DEI STORIES
Tim Wallace: It's time to stop demonising David Clarke (Crikey 14/9/05)
Richard Vella: In defence of Opus Dei (Crikey 14/9/05)
Kate Mannix on Opus Dei (ABC Radio The Religion Report 14/9/05)
Michael Whelan on Opus Dei (ABC Radio The Religion Report 14/9/05)
Opus Dei Member Richard Vella (ABC Radio The Religion Report 14/9/05)
Pope blesses statue of St. Josemaria Escriva (Vatican Information Service 14/9/05)
Pope blesses statue of St. Josemaria Escriva (Catholic News Agency 14/9/05)

MORE POPE STORIES
Pope Benedict XVI: Signs (Vatican Radio English Features 14/9/05, audio - requires Real Player)
Popes: The Cluny Trend (Vatican Radio English Features 14/9/05, audio - requires Real Player)
The temple: Visible sign of communion between God and man (Vatican Information Service 14/9/05)
Pope blesses statue of St. Josemaria Escriva (Vatican Information Service 14/9/05)
Old Testament Temple points toward Christ, symbolizes God's presence with His people, says Pope (Catholic News Agency 14/9/05)
Pope blesses statue of St. Josemaria Escriva (Catholic News Agency 14/9/05)
Vatican Radio to air special on life of Benedict XVI (Catholic News Agency 14/9/05)
Put God at center of social life, Pope urges (Catholic World News 14/9/05)
Statue of St. Josemaria unveiled at St. Peter's (Catholic World News 14/9/05)
Pope Blesses Statue of Opus Dei Founder (The Guardian/Associated Press 14/9/05)
Pope Asks About Migration and Poverty in Mexico (Zenit 13/9/05)
Pope Points to Example of Francis of Assisi
Radio-Novel Looks at Life of Joseph Ratzinger
Postulator Launches a Prayer Chain
Paul Collins on his biography of Benedict XVI (ABC Radio The Religion Report 14/9/05)
NCR's John Allen on his biography of Benedict XVI (ABC Radio The Religion Report 14/9/05)


15 Sep 2005