As of this morning, the Catholic Church has a new Blessed: the Spanish chemist and researcher Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri (1916-1975), a member of Opus Dei who was beatified in a ceremony presided over by Cardinal Becciu, prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints, held in Madrid at 11 am this morning at the Vistalegre Arena.
A Delegate of the Holy Father, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided over the ceremony. Together with him, the cardinal archbishop of Madrid, Carlos Osoro, and the prelate of Opus Dei, Fernando Ocáriz, have concelebrated together with six cardinals, nine archbishops, 17 bishops and some 150 priests. Following the solemn rite of beatification, the image of the new blessed was unveiled and her relics brought to the altar, carried by both her relatives and also relatives of the man reportedly cured through her intercession, Antonio Sedano.
Pope Francis: the new blessed “put her many qualities at the service of others”
Pope Francis wanted to unite himself to the “joy and thanksgiving” for the beatification with a letter addressed to the Prelate of Opus Dei. In it, the Holy Father says Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri, “put her many human and spiritual qualities at the service of others, helping in a particular way other women and their families in need of education and development.” The Pontiff also noted that the new blessed “did all this not with a proselytizing attitude but simply through her prayer and witness”, “with the joy that came from knowing she was a daughter of God, as she had learned from Saint Josemaria himself.”
The new blessed, the Holy Father writes, is a “witness of holiness lived out in the ordinary circumstances of her Christian life.” The example of her life serves as encouragement to always aspire “to this holiness of ‘normality’, which burns within our hearts with the fire of Christ’s love, and which the world and the Church are so in need of today.” Holiness, the Pontiff said, means, “opening one’s heart to God” and “going out of ourselves so as to meet others where Jesus awaits us, to bring them a word of encouragement, a helping hand, a look of tenderness and consolation.”
The Pope concluded his message with the following words: “I also ask you not to stop praying for me, while at the same time I impart my Apostolic Blessing to you all. May Jesus bless you and may Our Lady look after you.”
Read the full message of Pope Francis at: http://www.guadalupeortizdelandazuri.org
Cardinal Becciu: “A gift for the Church” and a “light” for Christians
During the homily, Cardinal Becciu recounted the biography of the new blessed, noting that her life “teaches us that the ability to listen and to always be cheerful even in the most painful situations is something beautiful and attractive.” In addition, “her heart was always open to the needs of others, which translated into an attitude of welcome and understanding.”
“Guadalupe is presented before our eyes,” he explained, “as a model of the Christian woman, always faithful to where God’s plan wants her to be, especially in the social sphere and in scientific research. In short, Guadalupe was a gift for the whole Church.”
“We find ourselves before a woman whose life has been enlightened simply by fidelity to the Gospel,” said Cardinal Becciu. “Multi-faceted and insightful, she was a light for those who knew her.”
The new blessed, Cardinal Becciu said, “tells us that it is possible to harmonize prayer and action, contemplation and work, by way of a lifestyle that leads us to trust in God.” Her “courage and a joy of life” he noted “came from her abandonment in God.”
The prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints also described Guadalupe as “a model for us of how to manifest this light that is Christ and how to share it with our brothers and sisters.”
Guadalupe carried out “an intense apostolate in different places, easily creating bonds of friendship with young people everywhere, bonds that were built with her faith, piety, charity and her healthy and contagious joy. She understood that union with God cannot be limited to a moment of prayer in a chapel, but that the whole day provided an occasion to intensify her relationship with the Lord.”
According to the cardinal, one spiritual characteristic of Guadalupe was her capacity “to transform everything she did into prayer.” In this regard, she liked to say that it was important to walk with “our feet on the ground, but always looking at Heaven, so that afterwards we can see more clearly what’s going on around us.”
The complete text of Cardinal Becciu’s homily can be read at: http://www.guadalupeortizdelandazuri.org
Over 60 countries
There was standing room only in Vistalegre Arena, with stadium filled with registered pilgrims of whom three thousand come from more than 60 countries, above all Mexico, where the new blessed worked for six years and obtained citizenship. Many others followed the ceremony live on television and via live-streaming on the Opus Dei website. Associations, parishes and schools participated in the ceremony from “fan-zones” around the world.
Over the past few days, pilgrims have gathered to pray before the mortal remains of Blessed Guadalupe in the Royal Oratory of the Knight of Grace in the center of Madrid. They have also visited an Exhibition about the new blessed – “Guadalupe. Live the experience ” – on display at the Tajamar school until May 30.
The collection taken during the beatification mass will go to the endowment of one hundred scholarships for African women scientists, sponsored by the non-profit Harambee Africa International: https://opusdei.org/en/article/beatification-guadalupe-ortiz-landazuri-press-conference-harambee/
The new blessed was born in Madrid on 12 December 1916. She studied chemistry and was one of few women to study a scientific field at that time (1933). In Madrid, she dedicated herself to teaching and research, eventually completing a doctorate, all the while carrying out an intense professional and evangelizing activity. In other stages of her life, she lived in Mexico and Rome.
Guadalupe Ortiz is the first lay person of Opus Dei to be beatified and collaborated directly with Opus Dei’s founder, Saint Josemaria. “Her contagious cheerfulness, her fortitude in the face of adversity, her Christian optimism in difficult circumstances, and her self-giving to others,” are some of the characteristics mentioned by the decree promulgated by the Congregation of the Causes of Saints. The text of the decree also reflects how Guadalupe lived the virtues to a heroic degree, and “surrendered herself completely and joyfully to God and to the service of his Church, and intensely experienced divine love.”
Tomorrow morning, on Sunday, May 19th, there will be a Mass of Thanksgiving presided over by Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, prelate of Opus Dei, also in Vistalegre Arena.