Opus Dei

Opus Dei, formally known as the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei (Latin: Praelatura Sanctae Crucis et Operis Dei), is an institution of the Catholic Church which teaches that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity.[3][4]

Opus Dei
Seal of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei: "A cross embracing the world"
Formation2 October 1928; 92 years ago (1928-10-02)
TypePersonal prelature
PurposeSpreading the universal call to holiness in ordinary life
HeadquartersViale Bruno Buozzi, 73, 00197 Rome, Italy
Coordinates41.9218°N 12.4841°E / 41.9218; 12.4841
Region served
95,318 (2018)[1]
Josemaría Escrivá
Fernando Ocáriz Braña
Main organ
General Council
Central Advisory
Parent organization
Catholic Church
Endowment$2.8bn (2006)[2]

The majority of its membership are lay people; the remainder are secular priests under the governance of a so-called prelate elected by specific members and appointed by the Pope.[5] Opus Dei is Latin for "Work of God"; hence the organization is often referred to by members and supporters as the Work.[6][7]

Opus Dei was founded in Spain in 1928 by Catholic priest Josemaría Escrivá and was given final Catholic Church approval in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.[8] John Paul II made it a personal prelature in 1982 by the apostolic constitution Ut sit; that is, the jurisdiction of its own bishop covers the persons in Opus Dei wherever they are, rather than geographical dioceses.[8] While Opus Dei has met controversies, popes, cardinals and many Catholic leaders strongly support its work and teachings.[9][10]

As of 2018, there were 95,318 members of the Prelature: 93,203 lay persons and 2,115 priests.[1] These figures do not include the diocesan priest members of Opus Dei's Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, estimated to number 2,000 in the year 2005.[11] Members are in more than 90 countries.[12] About 70% of Opus Dei members live in their private homes, leading family lives with secular careers,[13][14] while the other 30% are celibate, of whom the majority live in Opus Dei centers. Aside from their personal charity and social work, Opus Dei members organize training in Catholic spirituality applied to daily life; members are involved in running universities, university residences, schools, publishing houses, hospitals, and technical and agricultural training centers.