October 1: Audience with Pope Francis

Pope Francis encouraged the 15,000 pilgrims in Rome for the beatification of Alvaro del Portillo to go to the new Blessed's intercession for help "to respond generously to God’s call to holiness and apostolate in ordinary life, in the service of the Church and all mankind."

The 15,000 people who came to Rome for acts related to the beatification of Alvaro del Portillo on September 27 in Madrid, have attended the general audience with Pope Francis on Wednesday, October 1. They wanted to show their union with the Holy Father and their gratitude for the beatification.

Pope Francis addressed them specifically, saying: “I greet Bishop Javier Echevarría, Prelate of Opus Dei, along with the faithful of the Prelature present here to give thanks to God for the beatification of Alvaro del Portillo. I hope that his intercession and example will help you to respond generously to God’s call to holiness and apostolate in ordinary life, in the service of the Church and all mankind. Thank you very much and may God bless you.”

Bishop Echevarría: Thank you, Holy Father!

“In this moment of deep joy,” Bishop Javier Echevarría said, “I want to thank Pope Francis for the beatification of this bishop who so greatly loved and served the Church. Let us entrust to Blessed Alvaro the intentions of the Holy Father: the apostolic renewal and service to God on the part of all Christians, concern and care for those most in need, the upcoming Synod on the family, the holiness of all priests.”

José Ignacio greets the Pope

José Ignacio, the young Chilean who was miraculously cured thanks to the intercession of Blessed Alvaro, was greeted by the Holy Father at the conclusion of the audience. “The Pope asked me to pray for him,” he said. His mother, Susana Wilson, said: “We gave the Pope the petitions we had placed on Blessed Alvaro’s relic; it was a moment of great joy and gratitude.” And she added: “We told him that we are praying a lot for him in Chile and for his intentions. We are overcome with emotion at this moment; these have been days to give thanks, filled with so many blessings and the affection of so many people.”

Her husband, Javier Ureta, added: “We asked the Pope to give us his blessing for the 15 years of our marriage and he told us we were an example of the truth that “marriage is forever.”

The Holy Father helps us to be better

Alphonse Mosolo, a doctor from the Congo who works in Monkole hospital in Kinshasa, has come to Rome for the first time in his life. For Dr. Mosolo, “the Pope’s words strengthen our faith and hope and help us to be better and not become discouraged by all the problems.” And he continued: “I told the Pope that the hospitalized children we care for, who come to us with the gravest illnesses, are praying for him.” Mosolo works in one of the four African projects that will receive financial assistance with the funds collected during the beatification ceremony on September 27.

Mara Celani, spokesperson for the events in Rome for the beatification, also had an opportunity to greet the Pope with her husband and five children. “It was very moving,” she said.” “The Pope in his audience asked us to place at the service of the community the charisms God has given us, inviting us to imitate Blessed Alvaro, who is a gift to the whole Church.”