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Under Mary´s Care
Vocational testimony of Fr. José María Goyarrola LC

Vocational testimony of the Fr. José María Goyarrola LC
Fr. José María Goyarrola LC

*Translation of the Spanish original text

Holy Week in Seville has always been a strong experience of God’s love and of Mary’s love for me. I still remember the first time. I was four years old, and for hours, wearing my white Nazarene’s costume, I followed the image of the suffering Christ. There also was Mary, who began to grant me the grace of intimacy with her Son—a grace that has grown in my heart year by year.
I was born on May 10, 1975 in Madrid, the third of four siblings. I was educated in an Opus Dei school and I thank God for the friendships I had; three of them share today in my priestly vocation. I started studying a degree in economics at Complutense University, but the truth is, I didn’t like it and it didn’t go very well for me. The Lord gave me the opportunity of getting deep into sports, which I practiced zealously. I played field hockey a lot, which allowed me to get away from negative environments and strengthen my willpower. Nevertheless, my life lacked enthusiasm and motivation, and it seemed that not even parties, girls, and sports could fill that emptiness. I felt the fleetingness of things, of events, of the day to day realities, and I asked myself why and what for…

A Mystery Makes Itself Known…
My life went by in an apparently normal way. In my first 21 years of life, I never felt especially attracted to the priestly or consecrated life, although I did see them with deep respect and faith. But one cold December, during a retreat at the novitiate in Salamanca, I perceived a call, a desire, an attraction, a special inkling or spark of personal fulfillment: it was the mystery of the
Vocational testimony of the Fr. José María Goyarrola LC
great power of God’s love. The Legionaries of Christ and its spirit of charity and naturality captivated me from the first. These were young men like me, and yet I could see that they acted according to what they thought.

With the help of my spiritual director, and after months of restlessness and special graces of generosity, I entered the Legion of Christ. It was July of 1996. “I knew there was something, but not so soon.” These were the words of my mother when, on May 10, my birthday, I told my parents my decision to go to the summer discernment program. My united and Christian family supported me unconditionally, in spite of the normal sacrifice and the necessary process of coming to understand it. My school, with my many good friendships, and the uncommon fervor of faith and love in Seville’s Holy Week celebrations, had cultivated in my soul that good soil that with God’s grace was able to welcome the clear and specific call to follow him in the Legion of Christ.

In Preparation: Years of Love and Sacrifice
Two months later, I received my cassock to start the two happiest years of my life. It was a novitiate of love and sacrifice. Afterwards, I professed my religious vows on the morning of the feast of the Assumption in 1998. Thus began the lifelong path of a close and intimate identification with Christ the priest.

I arrived to Rome in November of 2000, the jubilee year full of special graces to know, love, and work for the Church in the Legion. There I spent a year and a half studying philosophy before returning for six months to Salamanca, the cradle of my vocation, as a formator of novices. Those were months of intense and fruitful work. Later I returned to Rome to study philosophy and theology. During this time, I was able to learn what it meant to live near a saint, John Paul II. My guideline during those intense and unforgettable years was to model myself after Christ. They were years of maturation in love for Christ and integral formation.

During the last years, I have worked in Santiago, the capital city of Chile, and also in Madrid, always with young people. I believe that the youth, with their restlessness and generosity, are souls greatly loved by God; they are the hope of the Church. I am grateful to all the Chilean and Spanish souls who taught me to be a bridge of grace and mercy.

I spent some time on missions in Quintana Roo, administered 12 baptisms, presided a wedding, helped at confirmations, preached, helped bless homes, and spent several months of apostolic service in Santiago as a deacon in preparation of my priestly ordination.

My Last Prayer Before the Priesthood
To Mary, the star of hope in my anguish, the sweetness on my path, the dew of graces for my mission, I direct my last prayer before such a gift.

Father José María Goyarrola was born on May 10, 1975 in Madrid, Spain. He entered the novitiate of the Legion of Christ in Salamanca, Spain, in 1996. He has worked as a formator of novices in Salamanca, Spain and has served as a spiritual director of boys and young men in Chile and Spain. He is currently working in Chile with groups of young men in Regnum Christi.

This testimony is part of the book “Ven y sígueme” (Come and Follow me). In January 2008 you can buy it at It contains 48 testimonies in Spanish, 11 in English and 1 in German.


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