ROME, JAN. 7, 2002 (Zenit.org).- A congress opening here Tuesday will commemorate the centenary of the birth of Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, founder of Opus Dei.
“The Grandeur of Ordinary Life” is the theme of the congress, which is expected to attract 1,200 participants from 57 countries. They will discuss topics such as the family, science, education, social integration, public opinion, artistic creativity, and the priesthood in the light of Blessed Escrivá´s message.
The congress´s 111 principal conferences will be markedly academic. Among the speakers are Janne Haaland Matlary, Norwegian deputy and professor; Giorgio Rumi, professor of contemporary history at the University of Milan; Father Charles Nyamiti, Kenyan priest and theologian; Evgeni Pazukhin, Russian Orthodox philosopher; and Angel Kreiman, chief Chilean rabbi and vice president of the World Council of Synagogues.
On Tuesday the Italian post office will make an official presentation of a stamp issued to commemorate the centenary of the founder of Opus Dei. On Wednesday, Escrivá´s birthday, a concelebrated Mass will take place in the Basilica of St. Eugene.
On Saturday, John Paul II will receive the participants in audience at the closing of the congress. On Dec. 20 the Pontiff approved the attribution of a miracle to the intercession of the Spanish blessed, opening the way for his canonization.
The congress may be followed on Internet at http://www.escriva2002.org.