1928: 2 October. Founding of Opus Dei. Having "no plans nor project" of his own, Escriva "saw Opus Dei." "On this day," he wrote, "our Lord started His Work. He founded Opus Dei".
1930: 14 February. Founding of the Women's branch of Opus Dei.
1933: The first center of Opus Dei was opened in Madrid: Derecho y Arquitectura, an academy teaching law and architecture. This would later become a residence for students, the base for giving catechesis to children and for taking care of the poor and sick in the area.
1939: The Way, Escriva's best-selling spiritual considerations, was first published. Opus Dei started to expand to other cities outside of Madrid.
1941: Opus Dei is granted first diocesan approval by the Bishop of Madrid.
1943: 14 February. Founding of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, an organization for the sanctification of secular priests through their pastoral work. According to Escriva, God showed him during Mass the juridical solution to enable priests to be ordained for Opus Dei.
1946: Beginning of Opus Dei in Portugal, Italy, and England. Escriva moves to Rome to establish the headquarters of Opus Dei there.
1949: Opus Dei begins spreading overseas, starting in Mexico and the United States.
The Way, 999 spiritual considerations written by Escriva.
1950: 16 June.In 1950 with the first constitutions Pope Pius XII grants Opus Dei definitive approval.
1962: Start of the Second Vatican Council, which proclaimed the universal call to holiness and initiates the legal framework called the personal prelature.
Peter Berglar (1994). Opus Dei. Life and Work of its Founder. Scepter. ISBN0-933932-65-0. -- A study of Opus Dei based on the life story and work of its founder written by a professor of history at the University of Cologne
Salvador Bernal, Msgr. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer: a profile of the Founder of Opus Dei, Veritas 1978.
Dennis Helming, Footprints in the snow. A pictorial biography of the founder of Opus Dei. Scepter 1986. - the first biography written by an American.
Andres Vasquez de Prada: The Founder of Opus Dei. The Life of Josemaria Escrivá, Scepter Publishers 1997.
Pilar Urbano, El hombre de Villa Tevere: los años romanos de Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, Plaza & Janés, 1995. ISBN 84-9793-378-8