From the Prelature of Opus Dei
A group of persons from Trinidad and Tobago was to join with many others from all over the world, in the Vistalegre Arena in Madrid, Spain on Saturday, May 18 to celebrate the raising to the altars of the first woman and lay faithful of Opus Dei, Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri.
For its members, Guadalupe’s beatification is joyful reaffirmation that the path opened by St Josemaría Escrivá in the Church is a way to holiness for ordinary faithful. Her beatification is also a wonderful example to many that holiness can be reached in and through the day to day affairs of work, family and civic life.
Spanish priest Fr José Carlos Martinez de la Hoz, who is responsible for the canonisation causes of Opus Dei members in Spain, said that “Guadalupe became holy giving chemistry classes, being a good professor…and being dedicated to souls, especially to her mother who died half an hour after she did.”
Guadalupe was born in Madrid on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1916. Her family lived for some years in North Africa when she was a child. She studied Chemistry in Madrid’s Central University. In her class of 70 students, there were only five women.
Early in 1944, she became acquainted with Opus Dei. Her first encounter with the founder, St Josemaría, affected her deeply. Later she would say: “I had the very clear idea that God was speaking to me through that priest.”
On March 19, 1944, breaking off a relationship, Guadalupe joined Opus Dei as a numerary, committing to celibacy and complete availability for the work of the prelature. “From then on,” says Fr Martinez de la Hoz, “she was full of good humour because of the deep conviction of doing God’s will for her.”
During her first years as a member of Opus Dei, Guadalupe worked mainly in the Christian formation of young people in Madrid and Bilbao. Later she spent four years in Mexico helping to begin the apostolic work of Opus Dei in that country.
After a short stay in Rome working with St Josemaría, she returned to Spain where she earned her doctorate in science on textile fibres, and graduated with honours. She taught sciences and was one of the pioneers in the creation of the Centre for Studies and Research in Domestic Sciences in Madrid. She died of a heart condition at 59 years of age, already with a reputation for holiness.
In all her actions Guadalupe reflected a profound desire to love God with her work, her friendship and a deep joy that conveyed peace and serenity to others. As one person who knew her said: “What has most impressed me has been Guadalupe’s forgetfulness of herself. She thought constantly of God and of other people”.
According to Fr Martínez de la Hoz, since her death in 1975, numerous favours were received through her intercession. Pope Francis announced last year that she would be beatified for having interceded in the miraculous healing of a 76-year-old man who had a malignant skin tumor next to his right eye.
Her beatification was to be live streamed at www.opusdei.org/live. For more information visit www.guadalupe19.org or www.opusdei.org
Opus Dei may be contacted at Eston Study Centre, 1 Serpentine Place, St Clair or Shalimar Residence, St Augustine Circular Road, St Augustine.
Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri