Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown gave insights into the spirituality of human work during his homily for the Solemn Mass at the Manila Cathedral on June 27, to commemorate the feast day of St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei.
“We come with hearts filled with gratitude and joy this evening to celebrate the memory and the teaching of this great saint who has shown us a way of sanctification in the modern world,” the Nuncio said as he greeted the crowd.
“Man’s work is a participation in God’s activity. That awareness ought to permeate even the most ordinary everyday activities,” Archbishop Brown said, quoting St. John Paul II. This, the Nuncio said, was a “summation of the spirituality of St. Josemaria Escriva.”
Saint Josemaria Escriva is known for “valuing so importantly the vocation of the laity; for understanding that the Church is not simply a clerical association of priests and bishops, but that the vast majority of Catholics make their way to heaven as laypeople,” the Nuncio said.
During his canonization on October 6, 2022, Pope John Paul II called him “the saint of the ordinary.” St. Josemaria taught people many ways to seek Christ in the ordinary things of each day, most specially in work and in family.
After two years of pandemic, the crowd was back at the Manila Cathedral, albeit limited in size due to health protocols. Devotees throughout the country organize Masses yearly to celebrate St. Josemaria’s feast, which is on June 26. His portraits and statues can be found in many churches nationwide. Devotees nationwide organized more than 230 Masses from June 22 to July 1 this year, from Batanes in the north to Davao and General Santos cities in the south.
Cardinal Jose Advincula, the archbishop of Manila, was not a concelebrant at the Solemn Mass but was in attendance from his cathedra. There were more than 30 concelebrants, including Bishop Emeritus Antonio Tobias and Bishop Roberto Gaa (Novaliches), Bishop Oscar Florencio (Military Ordinariate); and Msgr. Carlos Estrada, the Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in the Philippines.
Opus Dei started in the Philippines in 1964 (Opus Dei | Photo by Genieve Genuino/Contributor | Photogallery)