History and Structure

Founded on October 2, 1928, Opus Dei was established as a personal prelature on 28 November 1928 by Pope John Paul II. It has its own prelate who is at present Bishop Javier Echevarria a spanish priest who spent about 25 years at the side of St. Josemaria Escriva. Opus Dei is made up of two sections, one for men and one for women, each with independent apostolates.

Opus Dei exists in the five continents where is works in close collaboration with the local bishops, with whom in the words of its founder, it "pulls the cart in the same direction".

Useful Links


- Official site of Opus Dei:

- About St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei.

- Writings of St. Josemaria Escriva

- From a former supernumerary member of Opus Dei

- New Voices on Opus Dei: Candid Testimonies by members and former members

- A Day in the Life of an Opus Dei Supernumerary

- Opus Dei Awareness Network

- Opus Dei, "The Unofficial Hopepage"

Brief about Opus Dei

Opus Dei, Latin for Work of God is an institution of the Catholic Church which was founded on 2 October 1928 by a spanish priest, Josemaria Escriva. Fr. Escriva's teaching was that everyone, irrespective of their place in society, men and women, single, married and widowed can find holiness through their ordinary work. Thus Opus Dei has been described as “a way of sanctification in daily work and in the fulfillment of the ordinary duties of a Christian”. Opus Dei was made a personal prelature by Pope John Paul II on 28 November 1982. It counts at present about 85,000 faithful from all over the world. The founder of Opus Dei, Josemaria Escriva was canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II on 6 October 2002. The official website of the prelature is www.opusdei.org.

Books About Opus Dei

COVERDALE, John F., Uncommon Faith: The Early Years of Opus Dei (1928-1943), New York, 2002.

FUENMAYOR, Amadeo; GOMEZ-IGLESIAS, Valentin; ILLANES, Jose Luis: The Canonical Path of Opus Dei, Princeton, 1994. (o.t.: El itinerario jurídico del Opus Dei, Pamplona, 1989).

LE TOURNEAU, Dominique, What Is Opus Dei?, Dublin, 1987. (o.t.: L’Opus Dei, Paris, 1984).

MESSORI, Vittorio, Opus Dei, Leadership and Vision in Today’s Catholic Church, New York, 1997. (o.t.: Opus Dei. Un’indagine, Milan, 1994).

OLAIZOLA, José Luis, A Writer in Search of God, Manila, 1994. (o.t.: Un escritor en busca de Dios, Barcelona, 1993).

RODRIGUEZ Pedro; OCARIZ, Fernando; ILLANES, José Luis, Opus Dei in the Church, Princeton, 1994. (o.t.: El Opus Dei en la Iglesia, Madrid, 1993).

ROMANO, Giuseppe, Opus Dei: Who? How? Why?, Staten Island, 1995. (o.t.: Opus Dei: Chi, come, perche, Milan, 1994).

WEST, William J., Opus Dei. Exploding a Myth, Australia, 1987.

HAHN, Scott., Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace: My Spiritual Journey in Opus Dei 2006

Members of Opus Dei

(source: opusdei.org)

One can be incorporated in the Opus Dei Prelature as an associate, a numerary or a supernumerary. Associates and numeraries commit themselves to celibacy; supernumeraries do not. But all the faithful of the Prelature share the same vocation of spreading the ideal of holiness in the middle of the world.

Most members are married, and they strive to follow Jesus Christ by sanctifying their work both in the home and outside, maintaining a youthful love, generously receiving the children God sends them, educating their children well and transmitting the faith to them with their charity and their example.

For apostolic motives, some lay men and women embrace celibacy as a gift from God. This enables them to dedicate themselves more to tasks of formation, without any change in their lay condition, their professional situation, or their position within the Church and society.

Opus Dei Presence

Opus Dei is present in the following countries:

Spain, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Japan, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, France, Belgium, Slovak Republic, Russia, Hong Kong, Mexico, Philippines, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switerland, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Dem. Rep. of the Congo, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, India, Lebanon, Singapore, Taiwan, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Austria, Paraguay, Bolivia, Honduras, Hong Kong, Singnapore, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, Finland, Macao, Poland, Panama, Uganda, Kazakhstan

Guidelines for Opus Dei within the Diocese of Westminster

Promulgated by Cardinal Hume, Archbishop of Westminster, United Kingdom
December 2, 1981
I have made known to those responsible for Opus Dei in this country what I consider to be the right recommendations for the future activity of its members within the diocese of Westminster. I now wish to make public these four recommendations. Each of them arises from one fundamental principle: that the procedures and activities of an international movement, present in a particular diocese, may well have to be modified prudently in the light of the cultural differences and legitimate local customs and standards of the society within which that international body seeks to work.

These recommendations must not be seen as a criticism of the integrity of the members of Opus Dei or of their zeal in promoting their apostolate. I am making them public in order to meet understandable anxieties and to encourage sound practice within the diocese.

The four recommendations are as follows:

- No person under eighteen years of age should be allowed to take any vow or long-term commitment in association with Opus Dei.

- It is essential that young people who wish to join Opus Dei should first discuss the matter with their parents or legal guardians. If there are, by exception, good reasons for not approaching their families, these reasons should, in every case, be discussed with the local bishop or his delegate.

- While it is accepted that those who join Opus Dei take on the proper duties and responsiblities of membership, care must be taken to respect the freedom of the individual; first, the freedom of the individual to join or to leave the organization without undue pressure being exerted; secondly, the freedom of the individual at any stage to choose his or her own spiritual director, whether or not the director is a member of Opus Dei.

- Initiative and activities of Opus Dei, within the diocese of Westminster, should carry a clear indication of their sponsorship and management.

Source: Opus Dei: An Investigation into the Secret Society Struggling for Power within the Roman Catholic Church by Michael Walsh, pp. 165 - 167

Opus Dei : A Dialogue between Friend and Foe

An exchange of arguments between a friend and a foe of Opus Dei, focusing on anti-Opus Dei point of view and controversies.
E-Mail: [email protected]