Dora del Hoyo Alonso was born in Boca de Huergano (Leon, Spain) on January 11, 1914. Her parents were exemplary Christians and raised her to be a good daughter of God.
On March 14, 1946, in Bilbao, Spain, Dora asked for admission to Opus Dei. Right from the beginning, she corresponded faithfully to her divine vocation. Outstanding among Dora’s characteristics were her devotion to the Holy Eucharist – the Holy Mass was the center and root of her interior life – as well as her tender love for our Lady and St. Joseph and her trusting recourse to her guardian angel. Dora moved to Rome on December 27, 1946, at the invitation of St. Josemaria, and remained there until the end of her life.
Dora sought holiness and apostolic meaning in every task, even those that appeared most trivial, combining a spirit of service with professional competence. From Rome, she assisted with the formation of women from around the world, and contributed to the apostolic work of Opus Dei all over the world and at every level of society.
Dora died on January 10, 2004. On that day Bishop Javier Echevarria, the Prelate of Opus Dei, made these remarks,
“Dora was very important for Opus Dei because of her faithfulness and her work well done, always humbly desiring to pass unnoticed, to ‘do and disappear.’ She took the Blessed Virgin Mary as her teacher, as Saint Josemaria Escriva had encouraged her, and because of this she was effective to the very end of her life. She wanted no glory or recognition, and she gave one hundred percent throughout her entire life.
“She was a woman of faith. Because she was the very first numerary assistant, she had to be able to trust in what God, through St. Josemaria, was asking of her. She lived the virtue of hope, knowing that Opus Dei would grow and expand, becoming what we see today. She was able to trust and hope in this way because her love for God was so great that she forgot about herself; she lived for God and for the others. We have a great intercessor, to whom we owe gratitude. She learned from our Founder that what is most important is always to serve: to serve God and to serve souls.”
Her remains lie in the crypt of the Church of the Prelature, Our Lady of Peace, Bruno Buozzi 75, Rome.