In his homily, the Holy Father stressed that the Founder was led by the
Spirit. "Indeed, he did not cease to invite his spiritual children to
invoke the Holy Spirit to ensure that their interior life, namely, their
life of relationship with God and their family, professional and social
life, totally made up of small earthly realities, would not be separated
but form a single life that was 'holy and full of God'. He wrote, 'We find
the invisible God in the most visible and material things’”. The Holy
Father pointed to the saint's apostolic vision. "To elevate the world to
God and transform it from within: this is the ideal the holy founder
points out to you, dear brothers and sisters, who rejoice today to see him
raised to the glory of the altars. He continues to remind you of the need
not to let yourselves be frightened by a materialist culture that
threatens to dissolve the genuine identity of Christ's disciples". The
Founder did not hide the centrality of the Cross. "The Lord purifies and
shapes all those he calls to follow him with the mysterious power of the
Cross; but 'in the Cross', the new saint repeated, 'we find light, peace
and joy'". Here is a translation of the Holy Father's homily that he gave
in Italian and Spanish.
1. "All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God" (Rom
8,14). These words of the Apostle Paul, which we have just heard, help us
understand better the significant message of today's canonization of
Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. With docility he allowed himself to be led
by the Spirit, convinced that only in this way can one fully accomplish
This fundamental Christian truth was a constant theme in his preaching.
Indeed, he never stopped inviting his spiritual children to invoke the
Holy Spirit to ensure that their interior life, namely, their life of
relationship with God and their family, professional and social life,
totally made up of small earthly realities, would not be separated but
would form only one life that was "holy and full of God". He wrote, "We
find the invisible God in the most visible and material things" (Conversations
with Josemaría Escrivá, n. 114).
This teaching of his is still timely and urgent today. In virtue of the
Baptism that incorporates him into Christ, the believer is called to
establish with the Lord an uninterrupted and vital relationship. He is
called to be holy and to collaborate in the salvation of humanity.
God is at work in the daily life of men and women, we can cooperate
2. "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to
till it and keep it" (Gn 2,15). The Book of Genesis, as we heard in
the first reading, reminds us that the Creator has entrusted the earth to
man, to "till" it and "keep" it. Believers acting in the various realities
of this world contribute to realize this divine universal plan. Work and
any other activity, carried out with the help of grace, is converted into
a means of daily sanctification.
"The ordinary life of a Christian who has faith", Josemaría Escrivá
used to say, "when he works or rests, when he prays or sleeps, at all
times, is a life in which God is always present" (Meditations, 3
March 1954). This supernatural vision of life unfolds an extraordinarily
rich horizon of salvific perspectives, because, even in the only
apparently monotonous flow of normal earthly events, God comes close to us
and we can cooperate with his plan of salvation. So it is easier to
understand what the Second Vatican Council affirmed: "there is no
question, then, of the Christian message inhibiting men from building up
the world ... on the contrary it is an incentive to do these very things"
(Gaudium et spes, n. 34).
We are called to change the world from within by becoming saints in the
3. To elevate the world to God and transform it from within: this is
the ideal the holy founder points out to you, dear brothers and sisters,
who rejoice today to see him raised to the glory of the altars. He
continues to remind you of the need not to let yourselves be frightened by
a materialist culture that threatens to dissolve the genuine identity of
Christ's disciples. He liked to repeat forcefully that the Christian faith
is opposed to conformism and interior inertia.
Following in his footsteps, spread in society the consciousness that we
are all called to holiness whatever our race, class, society or age. In
the first place, struggle to be saints yourselves, cultivating an
evangelical style of humility and service, abandonment to Providence and
of constant listening to the voice of the Spirit. In this way, you will be
the "salt of the earth" (cf. Mt 5,13) and "your light so shine
before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your
Father who is in heaven" (ibid., 5,16).
The Cross moulds every human reality
4. Those who want to serve the cause of the Gospel faithfully will
certainly encounter misunderstandings and difficulties. The Lord purifies
and shapes all those he calls to follow him with the mysterious power of
the Cross; but "in the Cross", the new saint repeated, "we find light,
peace and joy: Lux in Cruce, requies in Cruce, gaudium in Cruce!".
Ever since 7 August 1931 when, during the celebration of holy Mass, the
words of Jesus echoed in his soul: "when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all to myself" (Jn 12,32), Josemaria Escriva understood
more clearly that the mission of the baptized consists in raising the
Cross of Christ above all human reality and he felt burning within him the
impassioned vocation to evangelize every human setting. Then, without
hesitation, he accepted Jesus' invitation to the Apostle Peter, which we
just heard in this square: "Duc in altum!" (Put out into the deep).
He transmitted it to his entire spiritual family so that they might offer
the Church a valid contribution of communion and apostolic service. Today
this invitation is extended to all of us: "Put out into the deep",
the divine Teacher says to us, "and let down your nets for a catch"
Secret of the saints: prayer, expiation, sacramental life
5. To fulfil such a rigorous mission, one needs constant interior
growth nourished by prayer. St Josemaría was a master in the practice of
prayer, which he considered to be an extraordinary "weapon" to redeem the
world. He always recommended: "in the first place prayer; then expiation;
in the third place, but very much in third place, action" (The Way,
n. 82). It is not a paradox but a perennial truth: the fruitfulness of the
apostolate lies above all in prayer and in intense and constant
sacramental life. This, in essence, is the secret of the holiness and the
true success of the saints.
May the Lord help you, dear brothers and sisters, to accept this
challenging ascetical and missionary instruction. May Mary sustain you,
whom the holy founder invoked as "Spes nostra, Sedes Sapientiae,
Ancilla Domini!" (Our Hope, Seat of Wisdom, Handmaid of the Lord).
May Our Lady make everyone an authentic witness of the Gospel, ready
everywhere to make a generous contribution to building the Kingdom of
Christ! May the example and teaching of St Josemaría be an incentive to us
so that at the end of the earthly pilgrimage, we too may be able to share
in the blessed inheritance of heaven! There, together with the angels and
all the saints, we will contemplate the face of God and sing his glory for