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Josemaría Escrivá
Josemaria Escriva.jpg
Priest and Saint of Ordinary Life
Born (1902-01-09)9 January 1902
Barbastro, Aragon, Spain
Died 26 June 1975(1975-06-26) (aged 73)
Rome, Italy
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 17 May 1992, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
Canonized 6 October 2002, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
Major shrine Our Lady of Peace, Prelatic Church of Opus Dei, Rome, Italy
Feast 26 June
Attributes Priest attire
Patronage Opus Dei
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Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer y Albás (9 January 1902 – 26 June 1975) was a Spanish Roman Catholic priest who founded Opus Dei, an organization of laypeople and priests dedicated to the teaching that everyone is called to holiness by God and that ordinary life can result in sanctity. He was canonized in 2002 by Pope John Paul II, who declared Josemaría should be "counted among the great witnesses of Christianity."

Escrivá gained a doctorate in civil law at the Complutense University of Madrid and a doctorate in theology at the Lateran University in Rome. His principal work was the initiation, government and expansion of Opus Dei. Escrivá's best-known publication is The Way, which has been translated into 43 languages and has sold several million copies.

Escrivá and Opus Dei have been accused of secrecy, elitism, cult-like practices, and political involvement with right-wing causes, such as the rule of Francisco Franco in Spain (1939–1975). After his death, his canonization attracted considerable attention and controversy, by some Catholics and the worldwide press. Several journalists who have investigated the history of Opus Dei, among them Vatican analyst John L. Allen Jr., have argued that many of these accusations are unproven or have grown from allegations by enemies of Escrivá and his organization. Cardinal Albino Luciani (later Pope John Paul I), John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Francis, Óscar Romero, and many Catholic leaders have endorsed Escrivá's teaching concerning the universal call to holiness, the role of laity, and sanctification of ordinary work. According to Allen, among Catholics, Escrivá is "reviled by some and venerated by millions more".

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