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The Man of Villa Tevere

Newly translated from Spanish, The Man of Villa Tevere paints a remarkably vivid portrait of the day-to-day life of St. Josemaria Escriva, “the saint of the ordinary.” Set in the world headquarters of Opus Dei and rich with anecdotes culled from the Founder’s contemporaries, this acclaimed biography chronicles the construction of the Roman center through Monsignor Escriva’s death there in 1975.

When St. Josemaria arrived in Rome, nearly twenty years after founding Opus Dei, there was still much to be done and little was to come easily. Escriva maintained that full canonical confirmation from the Catholic Church was imperative to the mission of Opus Dei, but he would not live to see that proclamation delivered. As a relatively young institution, Opus Dei was constantly challenged by limited funds, persecution, and St. Josemaria’s physical tribulations—including fifteen minutes during which he was clinically dead.

Yet because he considered himself simply “a poor sinner, who loves Jesus Christ madly,” no suffering was too great to be embraced with cheerfulness and sanctified for love of the Lord. And so it was from this place, from this man, that Opus Dei spread throughout the world.

Pilar Urbano’s celebrated biography of St. Josemaria is now available for the first time in English, coinciding with the release of There Be Dragons, the much-anticipated film by Roland Joffe, featuring the life of St. Josemaria Escriva. Like Escriva himself, The Man of Villa Tevere overflows with vibrant energy and gentle wisdom, manifesting the spirit of Opus Dei and inspiring multitudes to lead truly Christian lives.