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18th January - Day of the foundation of the Spiritual Family The Work

Witness of Mother Julia Verhaeghe, our foundress, about the foundation on 18th January 1938

The Spiritual Family The Work (Familia Spiritualis Opus – FSO), a Family of consecrated Life of Pontifical Right, was founded by Mother Julia Verhaeghe in 1938.
 
Mother Julia, born 11th November 1910 in Geluwe (Belgium), grew up in a simple family blessed with many children. Already in her youth she gave her life to God and answered his call with a lively faith. By meditating on the letters of St Paul, the longing to contribute with all her strength to the renewal of the Church was awakened in her.
 
Her joy in the Lord, her fervent devotion in a life consecrated to God and her love of the Church attracted others, and so over the years a new Community in the Catholic Church came to be. With all her talents, Mother Julia dedicated herself to the charism of The Work, which she had received from God, so that it would unfold in fidelity to his will and in answer to the situation in the Church and in the world.
 

She became our spiritual mother to whom we owe a great deal. After a full life of loving service and self-sacrifice, she died on 29th August 1997 in the Thalbach convent in Bregenz (Austria), where her tomb can be found.

Mother Julia (1910-1997)

"It pleased God to choose me according to His Will to be an instrument of His Work. I feel an urge from within to make it clear that I never had the idea or the intention of founding a ‘Work’ myself. In the situation and conditions in which I found myself, it was impossible for me to come up with such thoughts and ideas.

But God cured me of, and rescued me from, the spirit of the times, as He did others of my generations. He had lit in me a great love for the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. I have founded nothing. When Jesus Christ founded the Church, everything was founded. He just needs people to live this foundation profoundly – in the fear of God and with loving commitment."

»I have founded nothing. When Jesus Christ founded the Church, everything was founded. He just needs people to live this foundation profoundly.«
Mother Julia