Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, founder of Opus Dei, longed to visit the Holy Land to follow in the steps of Jesus Christ. He wished, too, that all of his spiritual children in Opus Dei and their friends and families could have the opportunity to “pray, kneel upon and kiss the ground that Jesus walked on.”
He always recommended to imagine oneself as one more character in the scenes when reading the Gospel. Saxum hopes to facilitate each pilgrim’s personal encounter with Christ in His land, offering a chance to take a part in the scenes of the Holy Scripture.
“Saxum, Yes You Are”
St. Josemaria used the name “Saxum” – “rock” in Latin – to refer to Blessed Alvaro del Portillo because of his faithfulness and his fortitude. Blessed Alvaro was his closest collaborator and first successor.
In 1994, Blessed Álvaro del Portillo made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in thanksgiving, where he celebrated his last Holy Mass on Earth in the Church of the Cenacle in Jerusalem. On March 23rd, only a few hours after returning to Rome from his Pilgrimage, God called Blessed Álvaro to His presence.
That same year, inspired by Saint Josemaría’s wish and in memory of Álvaro del Portillo, the Prelature of Opus Dei, together with cooperators and friends, initiated the project to establish the Saxum Conference Center and Saxum Multimedia Resource Center in the Holy Land.
The project was given the name Saxum out of gratitude for the lifetime of service to the Church that Blessed Alvaro led.
In 1995, the Association for Cultural Interchange Inc. undertook the search of a site to develop the Saxum Project.
Saxum and Opus Dei
The Prelature of Opus Dei is an institution of the Catholic Church founded by Saint Josemaría Escrivá in 1928. Its mission is to spread the message that work and circumstances of everyday life are occasions for growing closer to God, for serving others, and for improving society.
Saxum Foundation and ACI have asked the Prelature of Opus Dei to offer spiritual assistance to those participants of Saxum activities who want it.
“I assure you, my sons and daughters, that when a Christian carries out with love the most insignificant everyday action, that action overflows with the transcendence of God. That is why I have told you repeatedly, and hammered away once and again on the idea that the Christian vocation consists of making heroic verse out of the prose of each day. Heaven and earth seem to merge, my sons and daughters, on the horizon. But where they really meet is in your hearts, when you sanctify your everyday lives.”
-Saint Josemaría Escrivá, Passionately Loving the World