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Catholic Dictionary




An association of the Catholic faithful who dedicate themselves to the apostolate and to Christian perfection in the world. They do not, however, give up their social environment and continue in their secular profession or employment. founded in Madrid on October 2, 1928, by Monsignor José María Escriva de Balaguer, it received its final approval from the Holy See on June 16, 1950 The full canonical name is Societas Sacerdotalis Sanctae Crucis (The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross). Headquarters are in Rome. There are two branches of Opus Dei, of men and of women, but each so independent of the other that they form two organizations, united only in the person of the president general. The women's branch was founded in 1930. A general council, drawn from persons in different countries, assists the general in governing the association. Priests belong to Opus Dei and Opus Dei members have been ordained to the priesthood. Married persons also belong to Opus Dei, dedicating themselves to seeking Christian perfection in their own state of life. Co-operators, who are not official members of the association, help in its numerous apostolic activities.