My dear children: may Jesus watch over my daughters and sons for me!
Saint Josemaría taught us to always be giving thanks to God. Ut in gratiarum semper actione maneamus! And among the reasons for thanksgiving, I want to point now to the clear-sightedness—a true illumination from Heaven—that our Lord granted our Father when preparing the particular Law of Opus Dei. There, as you know, it is foreseen that the Prelate, with the advice of his Council, can appoint an Auxiliary Vicar to assist him directly in the government of the Prelature (cf. Statuta, no. 134 §§ 1 and 3, no. 135). And our Father made arrangements for several rooms in the central offices to be set aside for the Auxiliary Vicar.
Thank God I am in good health, considering my age. And since my work is increasing with the expansion of the apostolic undertakings, after having asked God for light, I have reached the conclusion that this is the moment to implement this possibility foreseen by Saint Josemaría. After consulting the General Council and the Central Advisory, I have named Don Fernando Ocáriz Auxiliary Vicar.
As new Vicar General, with the advice of the Council, I have named Don Mariano Fazio, until now regional Vicar in Argentina.
The appointment of an Auxiliary Vicar, with executive faculties for the government of the Prelature, including those that our Statutes reserve to the Prelate, will be a great help for me in following even more closely the growth of the apostolate in the 69 countries where Opus Dei is now working.
On the eve of the Marian year that we are about to begin, when we will beseech our Lady for all the families in the world, it makes me happy to realize that we are taking this step, like all those taken in the Work, close beside our Mother. Ask her that, with the intercession of Saint Josemaría, of Blessed Alvaro and of so many sisters and brothers of ours already in Heaven, we may take up with new eagerness our lives as daughters and sons of God, with a greater fidelity to the call received from God.
I want to take advantage of this letter to wish you once again a happy Christmas, spent very close to the Child Jesus, our Lady and Saint Joseph.
With all my affection, I bless you,
Rome, December 10, 2014, feast of Our Lady of Loreto