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In St. Josemaría Escrivá’s book The Way, we read: “One always goes to Jesus and one returns to him through Mary.” (1) The teaching is simple, and challenging. Referring to this point, Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, his successor at the head of Opus Dei, said: “I once asked our Father, many years ago: ‘I can understand that we always go to Jesus through Mary, but why did you write, and moreover in italics, that one also returns?’ ‘My son,’ our Father answered me, ‘because when a person has the misfortune of separating himself from God through sin, he goes to Mary and She takes us once more to Jesus.'” (2)

Here then we have two statements: first, “One always goes to Jesus through Mary,” then “one returns to him through her.” How so? Let us start with the first one.

We Go to Jesus Through Mary

Mary in the Life of Saint Josemaría

St. Josemaría was brought up in a family with great devotion to Mary. His mother, Maria Dolores, was named after Our Lady. (3) So were his four sisters, Carmen, Asuncion, Lolita and Rosario. (4) At the age of two, he fell seriously ill and was at the point of death. His mother prayed to the Blessed Virgin for him to recover, promising to go on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Torreciudad if he did so. He was cured immediately. Years later, when tragically his three younger sisters died one after the other in ascending order and young Josemaría thought it would be his turn next, his mother reassured him, “Don’t worry, you have been offered to Our Lady of Torreciudad.” (5) […]

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