The launch of the biography of Tomas and Paquita Alvira, ‘Our lives in His Hands: An Ordinary Couple’s Path to Holiness, took place at Strathmore University. The book is a recollection of the life and adventures of the couple who raised a large family and had joys and struggles that contemporary couples can identify with.
On 17th January 1906 Tomás Alvira was born in Villanueva de Gállego, the village of his father and grandfather, a few kilometres from Saragossa. His daughter, Pilar, recalls that it was her father’s habit to celebrate his birthday not for himself, but for the enjoyment of the whole family, a simple party full of joy.
Mary Ann Glendon has written the foreword for Olga Marlin's biography of Tomàs and Paquita Alvira, a married couple with nine children whose cause of canonization is underway.
A great gift for us all, fundamental to our education”, concludes his son, “was the daily experience of the love our parents had for each other, which was always on the increase. I think my mother was everything for my father and from the time he married his life would have no meaning without her”.
There can be no better gift for a father… than the grateful love of a son. That affection grows and matures with years and becomes even more deeply rooted when the father has gone, even though he is known to be nearer and more active than ever. Rafael Alvira, a son before a philosopher, considered at the death of his father the legacy he received.
The first meeting between Tomás Alvira and the Founder of Opus Dei took place during a very difficult time, as the civil war had broken out little more than a year before. It occurred in Madrid, in the midst of a religious persecution that had already produced many martyrs. Tomás used to go to the house of an old friend from the Chemistry Faculty of Saragossa, Josémaría Albareda.