Download Newsletter No 4 here.
On 5 July 2013 Pope Francis approved a Decree on a miracle attributed to the Venerable Servant of God Alvaro del Portillo. A year earlier, on 28 June 2012, Pope Benedict had declared that Alvaro del Portillo had lived the Christian virtues to a heroic degree. It was now only a matter of the Holy See announcing the date of the beatification. On 22 January 2014, the Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría wrote a letter to the faithful of Opus Dei to let them know that on the previous day he had received confirmation “that the Holy Father Francis had granted the request I had made to him: that the ceremony should take place in Madrid, on 27 September 2014”.
“The reason for this,” he continued, “is the large number of people wanting to come to the beatification of our beloved Venerable Don Alvaro. There is also the fact that this year is the centenary of his birth which took place in that city on 11 March 1914. In accordance with the practice that has been followed since Benedict XVI established that the Pope only presides over canonization ceremonies, the beatification will be celebrated by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato.” Referring to the peace that the future Blessed brought to many people’s hearts, Bishop Echevarría suggested that “we beg him now to obtain for us from God a deep gaudium cum pace, joy with peace, for our hearts and for those of all who have at any stage come into contact with Opus Dei’s apostolate”.
The months leading to the beatification are an opportunity to follow more closely in Bishop Alvaro’s footsteps: faithfulness to our Lord, the Church, the Pope, and St Josemaría, the Founder of Opus Dei. As we reflect on so many illuminating points in his life, and come to know his writings better, “let’s try to imitate his love for God and other people, his desire to fulfil God’s will always and in everything, his apostolic zeal and his capacity for serving others,” as Bishop Echevarría recommends.