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Beatification bid launched for historic Opus Dei member
By David Kerr
Dora del Hoyo.
Dora del Hoyo.

.- The cause for the beatification of Dora del Hoyo, one of the first collaborators of the founder of Opus Dei, has been announced in Rome on June 18.

“Dora was of great importance for Opus Dei, for her fidelity and her work perfectly finished, which was always accompanied by her humility of passing unnoticed. This is why she was so effective until the end of her life,” said Bishop Javier Echevarria, the Prelate of Opus Dei, who announced the cause at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

Born in Spain in 1914, Dora del Hoyo first came into contact with Opus Dei’s founder, Saint Josemaria Escriva, at the age of 29 when she was employed as a member of the domestic staff in a Madrid student residence run by the Catholic organization. 

In 1946 she became the first woman to join Opus Dei as a “numerary assistant.” Such members principally dedicate themselves to the domestic responsibilities within centers of Opus Dei.

In the same year Saint Josemaria asked Dora if she would move to Rome in order to help in the development and expansion of Opus Dei. She remained in the Eternal City until her death in 2004.

Her mortal remains now lie in the crypt of Our Lady of Peace, the church of the Prelature of Opus Dei. Close by is the tomb of Saint Josemaria himself.

“She did not want any human glory or any kind of special consideration; she gave of herself a hundred percent all her life. She was a woman of faith,” said Bishop Echevarria. 

“She relied on what God was asking of her through St. Josemaria. She had a strong hope which led her to be convinced that Opus Dei would expand and become what we see today.”

Monday's announcement took place before a packed audience hall at the University of the Holy Cross.

Bishop Echevarria, who also knew Dora for many years, explained she strove to imitate the life of Mary in the holy house of Nazareth. He said that since her death he had received over 300 letters from 25 countries testifying to Dora’s holiness and recounting favors received through her heavenly intercession.

“And all this is due to her love of God which was so great that she wasn’t ever concerned about herself: she was always thinking about God and others,” he said.

Opus Dei – Latin for Work of God – was founded in 1928 by Saint Josemaria Escriva, a Spanish priest, with the aim of proclaiming holiness in everyday life. It now has around 85,000 members around the world.


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