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Josemaria Escriva
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Religious Figure
    He practiced self-flagellation, leaving the walls of his room spattered with blood.
    An assistant claimed that during the intermission of a movie about World War II, Escriva said, 'Hitler couldn't have been such a bad person. He couldn't have killed six million. It couldn't have been more than four million.'
    An aide said he had 'no respect' for Popes John XXIII and Paul VI and considered Opus Dei 'above the Church in holiness.'
    His assistant claimed he was so upset by the reforms of the Second Vatican Council that he considered bringing Opus Dei into the Greek Orthodox Church.
    Critics of his canonization claimed the Church refused to hear negative testimony about his character and behavior.
    Theologian Richard McBrien called it 'the most blatant example of a politicized [canonization] in modern times.'
    At age two, he was allegedly cured of epilepsy by a statue of the Virgin Mary in the town of Torreciudad.
    He oversaw the building of a shrine at Torreciudad that became the spiritual center for Opus Dei.
    He encouraged people to find holiness in everyday life.
    The worst cirticisms levelled at him were made by ex-Opus Dei members who may have exaggerated or invented allegations.
    He was greatly admired by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Credit: C. Fishel


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