Zaragoza: Priestly Ordination

He began his studies towards becoming a priest as a day student in the seminary of Logroño in 1918. In 1920, he continued his studies as a full time seminarian in Zaragoza. There, he lived in the seminary of Saint Francis of Paula and went to class in the conciliar seminary, which had the status of a Pontifical University at the time. The cardinal archbishop of Zaragoza, Juan Soldevila, soon saw Josemaría's promising qualities and named him Inspector of the seminary of Saint Francis of Paula in 1922.

These years of preparation for the priesthood consolidated his theological and spiritual formation, through the frequent reading of classical spiritual literature and, above all, through his personal prayer. He would often spend long hours before the tabernacle in the seminary church. His visits (bound closely to the piety lived in Zaragoza) to Our Lady of the Pillar were made on an almost daily basis.

Once his theological studies were nearing completion, he obtained authorization from his superiors to begin studying Law at the University of Zaragoza in 1923. He continued studying even after fulfilling his pastoral duties and throughout his summer vacation. He also studied Law because of his father's wishes, years earlier, when he had told his father of his intention to become a priest. The fact that Josemaría carried out his ecclesiastical and civil studies at the same time, his presence in the classrooms of the School of Law and his relationship with professors and students of the School, were all circumstances which would enrich his personality and prepare him for the purpose that would later shape his life.

Ordained a deacon on 20 December, 1924, he was ordained to the priesthood on 28 March, 1925. Since his father had died shortly before, in November 1924, his mother, sister Carmen and younger brother Santiago, born in 1919, moved to Zaragoza and came under his care. Josemaría began his priestly ministry in the Parish of Perdiguera (in the diocese of Zaragoza), and continued later in the city of Zaragoza itself.

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