This compelling biography, covering the early years of the life of St Josemaria Escriva, reads like a thriller. But it is much more than a breathtaking adventure. Here is the story of a fugitive priest at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, caught up in the bloodbath of the religious persecution in which 13 bishops, 4,184 diocesan priests, 2,365 priests and brothers of religious orders and 283 nuns were slaughtered. Through the personal and intimate notes of this priest, we experience the terror unfolding day by day. Amongst the chaos and horror there are vivid glimpses into the soul of a man searching for sanctity in a world that has gone mad. All the while, St Josemaria, after receiving a vision from God, was slowly, but surely, spreading one of the most important spiritual messages for our time: that holiness is not just for priests and nuns, but for everyone. For an ordinary man or woman a way to holiness can be found through daily work and the everyday duties of a Christian. Here is the fascinating story of St Josemaria Escriva's own work. Founding Opus Dei in 1928, he was a major contributor to the rediscovery of the apostolate of the laity in the Church. Born in 1902 in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees, his inspiration has now spread throughout the world. St Josemaria was canonized by Pope John Paul II on 6 October 2002. William Keenan is a journalist, playwright and novelist. He writes a regular column for the Catholic Herald and is the author of three mystery novels and numerous plays for BBC radio. His plays include Margaret Clitherow, the heroic story of the Catholic martyr from York, a young wife and mother crushed to death for her faith in the reign of Elizabeth I and now one of the canonized Forty Martyrs of England and Wales; and Fatima, which recounts the apparitions of Our Lady to the shepherd children.
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