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Opus Dei (or “Work of God”) is a contractual association within the Roman Catholic Church dedicated primarily to the spiritual formation of laypersons who feel called to sanctify the secular world through their everyday occupations. Founded by the Spanish priest Josemaría Escrivá in response to a vision in 1928, the association has grown to more than 80,000 members world-wide. The vast majority of the members are laypersons, both male and female. The source of considerable controversy within the Catholic Church and sensational publicity outside it (e.g., in Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code), Opus Dei has nonetheless enjoyed the support of both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II, who approved its designation as a personal prelature in 1982 and canonized its founder ...

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