12 Killer St. Josemaria Escriva Quotes


For many traditional Catholics, St. Josemaria Escriva is a quotable and inspiring modern-day saint. With an appealing writing style and a history of speaking to people from all kinds of backgrounds, St. Josemaria Escriva will challenge you, will ask you to confront your shortcomings, and will also lift up your spiritual life.

Opus Dei Founder, Traditional Catholic, and Renowned Spiritual Writer

Besides being an excellent spiritual author, St. Josemaria founded Opus Dei in 1928, an organization dedicated to making the world holy by encouraging its members to offer their daily tasks to God. His whole life was dedicated to bringing heaven to earth:  to making sainthood a goal that can be reached by anyone from any walk of life.

St. Josemaria is not only a saint, but a hero in that he continues to inspire people to confront their lifestyles and make a choice to follow God.

Quotes from St. Josemaria Escriva

But don’t pass so final a judgement. Have pity in your heart and don’t forget that he may yet be an Augustine, while you remain just another mediocrity. St. Josemaria Escriva

It's true he was a sinner.

Ouch. St. Josemaria’s not messing around. This quote assumes that you, the reader, have pointed fingers at someone, blaming them for being sinful. He turns the attention back to you and asks what you have done to merit a position of judgment over your peers.

St. Josemaria compares the “sinner” to Augustine, the well-known playboy turned Doctor of the Church. Augustine was raised Catholic but spent much of his youth partying and living it up with his girlfriend. He even fathered a child at the age of 17.

It wasn’t until his thirties, when his girlfriend left him to join the convent, that he returned to the church. Even then, he didn’t begin his theological studies until after his son died at the age of 16. Now he is known as one of the most educated and profound theologians the world has ever known. Talk about an turnaround!

More than anything, St. Josemaria wants the world to know that everyone is capable of sainthood, and everyone should strive toward that end in all things.

2. Be a Hero

Do everything for love. That way there are no little things. Everything is big.
St. Josemaria Escriva

do everything for love

This quote goes on to say, “Perseverance in little things for love is heroism.” We generally think of heroism as one great act of sacrifice for the good of others. According to this definition, you might be awarded a single opportunity for heroism in your entire lifetime, if you’re offered one at all.

St. Josemaria Escriva hoped to change that view by encouraging people to practice heroism every single day. By ordering our daily actions toward the good of others, we can not only spread happiness, but also achieve holiness.

That being said, our culture is not set up to accommodate self-sacrifice. The “American Dream” can be very egocentric and self-promotion is paramount in our culture.

It may feel unnatural at first, but incorporating small sacrifices into your day will benefit your life and the lives of those around you. So, skip a meal, plant a victory garden, volunteer at the food pantry, bike to work. Scrimp and save money wherever you can so you can share your wealth with those around you. And don’t forget to pray!

3. Do Your Duty, Big and Small

Great holiness consists in carrying out the little duties of each moment.
St. Josemaria Escriva

Don't judge without having heard both sides. Even persons who think themselves virtuous very easily forget this elementary rule of prudence.

This quote carries on from the previous one by encouraging you to pursue holiness in little tasks throughout the day. Aside from making small daily sacrifices, you can serve God by completing the work set out for you. That’s right! You can achieve holiness simply by doing the work you have to do anyway. It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

Of course, it’s important to pursue your work with joy and pride. Be grateful for each task because it is a chance to serve God, your neighbor, and yourself. When you feel the daily grind starting to steal your peace, take a moment to step back and remember your purpose on this earth.

More than anything else, we as Catholics desire Heaven. So in those moments of frustration, simply take a breath and carry on. Your perseverance in not lost on God; He has a great reward planned for you.

4. Remember to Count Your Blessings

I am asked for very little compared to how much I am being given.
St. Josemaria Escriva

I am asked for very little

Spiritual life is rarely a walk in the park. In fact, holy living is often a burden. It requires continual sacrifice and a willingness to be disliked on account of your faith. Spirituality is simply unpopular. It always has been and always will be, in our flawed and fallen world.

Thankfully, God hasn’t left us in the dark. He accompanies us on our journey, giving us help, comfort and guidance. He even sent his own son to die in order to secure our salvation.

St. Josemaria reminds us to keep our lives in perspective. Once we consider the things God has given us, the burdensome requirements of our faith don’t seem so bad.

What’s one skipped meal in comparison to the Agony in the Garden? Isn’t my life worth a single hour in adoration? The small tasks that unite us to God are nothing compared to what he has done, and continues to do, for us.

As Christ says in Matthew 11:29-30 (NASB), “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

5. Take Care to Not Judge

Don’t judge without having heard both sides. Even persons who think themselves virtuous very easily forget this elementary rule of prudence.
St. Josemaria Escriva

Don't Judge

If there’s anything that we as young people have done right, it’s to banish judgement. Our generation is more likely to be accepting of all people (regardless of race, gender or social status), than any previous generation. We’re learning to look past our differences and see the basic human ideas and emotions that unite us. Even so, it can be difficult not to pass judgement in any given situation…especially if you are feeling hurt or betrayed.

The truth is, it’s impossible to discern all of the motivations that go into a person’s decisions. Everyone you meet has a different cultural and social background, a different set of ideologies, different priorities, and different fears. Sure, you may have handled a particular situation differently, but in the end, it’s not your place to judge. In this quote, St. Josemaria points out that even holy people fall into the trap of placing judgment on others. When in doubt, turn to scripture. God himself says: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged” (Matthew 7:1, NASB).

6. Be Cheerful, and Pleasantly So

True virtue is not sad or disagreeable, but pleasantly cheerful.
St. Josemaria Escriva

True Virtue Is Not

It’s easy to get caught up in the stories of martyrs and penitent nuns…the ones who wore hair shirts and walked barefoot in the snow. We tend to forget about the Philip Neris of the world.

St. Philip was known as a jokester and even walked around Rome with half his beard shaved as an expression of joy and humility in front of God and neighbor. It’s this kind of joy that St. Josemaria encourages us to pursue.

Virtue doesn’t always consist of stern and serious piety. It’s not strictly a bread and water philosophy. Virtue can be joyful. It can fun! In reaching out to others and keeping in touch with God, we can find true and lasting fulfillment that spreads light and contentment throughout our world.

Don’t be afraid to laugh, to relax, and (dare I say it) to be happy. This is what God wants for you: to experience his creation with joy and to search for him with a happy heart.

7. Don’t Wait for Sainthood, Start Now

Don’t wait until you are old to start becoming a saint. Begin right now. Cheerfully and joyfully, by fulfilling the duties of your work and of your everyday life.
St. Josemaria Escriva


Sure, there are many saints who waited to pursue God until later in life. Even now, many good and generous people don’t face conversion until they are on their deathbed.

St. Josemaria challenges us to do better. He encourages us to start serving God now by tackling our daily tasks with joy and gusto.

God calls us to be beacons of hope to everyone lost in the darkness of sin. What better way to do this than to shine forth cheerfulness and peace every moment of the day? If missionary work isn’t your style or if daily Mass doesn’t fit your schedule, try completing your work with a joyful heart.

Smile often and speak kindly to those around you. Make choices that reflect the dignity of yourself and others. And just like that, you’re serving God! Act with peace and joy and you’re sure to find the “small gate” that leads to eternal life.

8. A Saint is a Sinner

A Saint is a sinner that keeps trying.
St. Josemaria Escriva


We often think of saints as people who fell easily into a rhythm of holiness, or who stumbled across sanctity one day and adopted it without much trouble.

Some of the most famous saints were so virtuous that they even developed superpowers, for goodness sake! Compared to them, I sometimes feel like a dummy for struggling to stay awake during the rosary.

Truth be told, you don’t have to levitate or bilocate to reach heaven. Holiness can be as simple as a daily conversion toward God. If we take time each day to refocus our attention on him–to recognize our failures and resolve to do better–we can be well on our way to sainthood.

So don’t feel discouraged if your spiritual life is less than glamorous or if you struggle with a particular sin. God never asked for perfection. He simply wants your attention and affection. Don’t give up! The prize is worth the race.

9. If I Love…No Hell for Me

If I love…there will be no hell for me.
St. Josemaria Escriva

If I Love

This might be my favorite quote from St. Josemaria, and it’s been playing on repeat in the back of my mind since I came across it. Its appeal lies in its simplicity. If I love, I will achieve heaven.

It might sound too good to be true, but God is love and his great sacrifice has secured you a spot in heaven. All you have to do is imitate him in your daily life, repent from your shortcomings, and desire his salvation.

This quote ties in nicely with 1 Peter 4:8 (NASB), “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” This verse comes to me when feelings of guilt threaten to steal my peace.

It’s comforting to know that God notices my loving actions just as much, if not more, than my sinful ones. If that’s all it takes–to love others–then I may really have a shot at sainthood!

10. Strengthen The Will:  The Heroic Minute

The heroic minute: here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body.
St. Josemaria Escriva

The heroic minute- here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body.

With this quote, St. Josemaria is giving you the opportunity to become a true superhero. Here’s how: as soon as your alarm goes off in the morning, say a quick prayer and get straight out of bed. Get started on your work right away, and do so with a happy heart.

According to St. Josemaria, this is the best way to conquer your day. Plus, it’s a great way to strengthen your mind, body and heart without harming yourself or having a negative impact on others.

In fact, this small sacrifice may be just as effective in bolstering your traditional Catholic faith life as fasting and prayer. It allows you to embrace every moment God has given you.

You are able to use your time to its fullest and waste not a second on laziness. It’s a special offering to God:  your time, your talents and your will in gratitude for every blessing he has sent your way.

11. Light & Heat:  Become a Bonfire

You go to pray; to become a bonfire, a living flame, giving light and heat.
St. Josemaria Escriva

You go to pray; to become a bonfire, a living flame, giving light and heat.

The time for pumpkin spice and hay rides is just around the corner. What better way to celebrate than to ponder this quote about being a bonfire?

There’s nothing quite like huddling by the campfire with friends. Whether you’re roasting marshmallows, swapping stories, or simply staring at the flames, there is something entrancing about a fire. It draws you in.

St. Josemaria compares your prayer life to a bonfire. When you pray, God fills you with his grace, and you become just as magical, just as magnetic, as a bonfire. The light and warmth you embody is a beacon to those lost in sin and darkness. They want a taste of the peace and joy that fills your life.

This is one way God reaches out to invite people into his mercy. It’s a means of saving souls, and it all starts with your moment of prayer. So get thee to the chapel!

Or simply lift up your heart in prayer. You’ll never imagine what God can do with a simple moment of intercession.

12. Why are you Surprised…?

If you have so many defects, why are you surprised to find defects in others?
St. Josemaria Escriva

If you have so many defects, why are you surprised to find defects in others-

Here goes St. Josemaria again, dishing out sick burns left and right. I don’t think any of us is delusional enough to believe that we are perfect. We all have flaws…ones that we are aware of and ones that escape us. In reconciliation, we examine our hearts and lay out all of our sins and shortcomings without reservation.

If we are so aware of our failures, why does it come as a surprise when we stumble across the shortcomings of others? Why are we so slow to forgive? Why are we often hateful in response to a loved one’s bad choices?

St. Josemaria challenges us to step back and have empathy. Realize that every single one of us is flawed and give those around you a bit of grace. Who knows, you might be in need of that same grace in the future.

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Sources: AZQuotes.com