Josemaría Escrivá Obras

You established your residence in Rome in 1946. What is there about the Pontiffs with whom you have dealt that stands out in your memory?

For me, in the hierarchy of love, the Pope comes right after the Most Holy Trinity and our Mother the Virgin. I cannot forget that it was his Holiness Pius XII who approved Opus Dei at a time when some people considered our spirituality a heresy. Nor can I forget that the first words of kindness and affection I received in Rome in 1946 came from the then Monsignor Montini. The affable and paternal charm of John XXIII, every time I had occasion to visit him, remains engraved in my memory. Once I told him 'In our Work all men, Catholics or not, have always been lovingly received. It is not from your Holiness that I learned ecumenism.' And Pope John laughed with obvious emotion.

What more can I tell you? The Roman Pontiffs, all of them, have always had understanding and affection for Opus Dei.

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