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Opus Dei

You Must Suffer as Jesus Suffered

Opus Dei logo

Josemaria Escriva

The Vatican prelature known as Opus Dei is a deeply devout and secret Catholic sect that is composed of lay persons of the working world.  They are under the personal protection of the Pope.  The members do not answer to the Bishops of the Diocese in which they live.

Opus Dei is Latin and means "the work of God."

The organization was founded by a Spanish Priest named Josemaria Escriva in the 1930's,  He moved to Rome to better influence the Pope.

Corporal Mortification

Self flagellation is practiced and encouraged.  Escriva wrote in his guidebook The Way, "Where there is no mortification there is no virtue." (The Way, #180).  He further wrote, "Unless you mortify yourself, you will never be a prayful soul." (The Way #172).  The bathroom walls of the founder Escriva were covered in speckles of blood from his daily flagellation.

Members are expected to wear a "cilice" for two hours a day, minimum.  They are also expected to beat themselves on the back and the buttocks once a week, minimum.

Cilice on legcilice spikesCiliceSarah Casey

Opus Dei does not see this as a punishment to quench the desires of the body, but as a way to share the physical suffering of Christ.  If a member feels they need to attone their sins, then extra penance through additional mortification is needed.

Opus Dei walking stickContents of Opus Dei walking stickflogging whip

flogging whip

Today

Opus Dei is as powerful as ever and has just completed construction of a $47 million World Headquarters at 243 Lexington Avenue in New York City.

Opus Dei headquarters U.S.Opus Dei mens only entrance

Men only entrance.