What is Opus Dei?

Do you have background on Opus Dei? I need to know more about it/them.

Here is a brief description from the American web site for Opus Dei:

Opus Dei is a personal prelature of the Catholic Church that helps ordinary lay people seek holiness in and through their everyday activities, especially through work.

It was founded in 1928 by a 26-year-old Catholic priest, Josemaria Escriva, who died in 1975, and was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 6, 2002 (source).

A personal prelature is defined as:

A personal prelature is a jurisdictional entity within the Church’s hierarchical structure, presided over by a prelate, answerable to the sacred Congregation of Bishops, and to which laity and clergy can belong. It is established by the Holy See for specific pastoral or organizational purposes, and it is governed by statutes given it by the Holy See. The word personal indicates that it is defined by persons, whereas, for example, dioceses and parishes are defined by geographical areas (source).

For a look at the group by someone who is not a member, I recommend Opus Dei: Leadership and Vision in Today’s Catholic Church by Vittorio Messori, the journalist who worked with John Paul II on the papal book Crossing the Threshold of Hope. The article recommended below may also be helpful.

**Recommended reading:

God’s Work** by Robert Royal

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