The St. Josemaría Escrivá Historical Institute has launched the new issue of the journal “Studia et Documenta”. This is the 17th issue of the collection. This issue publishes one of a series of letters written by the founder of Opus Dei to his sons and daughters. In addition, it includes studies and notes on the history of the Work.
The new issue of “Studia et Documenta” brings together a series of studies on the history of Opus Dei, its founder, and its members.
The “Monografico” section features some of Saint Josemaría Escrivá’s letters to his spiritual daughters and sons of all times. In them he expressed his thoughts on many aspects of the charism of this institution. Historians Francesc Castells, Javier Sesé, and Luis Cano analyse the chronology of the letters and the literary genre to which they belong and answer the questions how, when, and why the founder of Opus Dei wrote them.
“Studi e note” brings together five works on various aspects of the history of Opus Dei, such as the plans for expansion in America, spiritual and doctrinal formation, and the governance of the institution.
Thus, Santiago Martínez analyses a trip made in 1948 by three men of Opus Dei to six countries in America, to test the possibilities of expansion in that continent. The reasons for this trip, the preparations, the itinerary, and the main milestones achieved are presented. A podcast about this story summarises its content.
For her part, Mercedes Montero studies how, from 1951 onwards, some Mexican women helped in the expansion of the Work in other American countries. She also recounts her trips to Rome to train more intensely in the spirit of the Work.
Federico M. Requena presents the growth experienced by Opus Dei between 1957 and 1961 in the newly created Chicago region. It focuses mainly on the institutional dimensions, the relationship with the American hierarchy, and the strong increase of vocations in Chicago during these years.
María Eugenia Ossandón studies the reopening in 1963 of the Roman College of Santa Maria in Castel Gandolfo. This was a centre created a few years earlier by Saint Josemaría Escrivá to prepare women for the tasks of formation and government of the Work in various countries. The author presents the process of acquiring the new headquarters, the educational project, and the meetings of the pupils and teachers with Paul VI and John Paul II.
This section closes with an article by José Luis González Gullón on the work weeks that took place during the founder’s lifetime. These formative activities were established by Escrivá as an instrument of governance and listening to the various regions of Opus Dei.
Documents on the work of San Rafael and San Gabriel
The “Documenti” section brings together two studies on the works of San Gabriel and San Rafael. The first includes the critical edition and annotated by Luis Cano of Letter No. 29 by San Josemaría Escrivá. This unpublished missive on the work of St Gabriel was addressed to the supernumeraries of the Work (members without celibacy) and to the co-operators, all of whom were engaged in apostolic work compatible with their family and social status. Two themes of great theological and pastoral significance stand out in this letter, namely secularity and the vocation and mission of the laity in the Church.
For his part, José Luis González Gullón presents the summaries of the first circles of the work of Saint Raphael, held in 1933. This weekly formation activity was directed by St. Josemaría to young people, on various core aspects of Christian life. The transcription and commentary of these summaries helps to understand how Escrivá transmitted to the students the message of holiness in the midst of the world characteristic of Opus Dei.
Opus Dei during the pontificate of Pius XII
The Newsletter section summarises the main points discussed and debated in a Workshop on Opus Dei during the pontificate of Pius XII, held in the Master’s Building of the University of Navarra in Madrid, on 17 June 2022. The conclusions of this meeting have recently been published in a book entitled, “Gentes, escenarios y estrategias. El Opus Dei durante el pontificado de Pío XII, 1939-1958”.
The “Sezione bibliografica” closes the magazine with a note by Javier Sesé on the secularity of Opus Dei, reviews and bibliographical reviews and a final list of publications on Opus Dei, biographical itineraries, and apostolic initiatives between 2014 and 2017.