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Opus Dei Prelate: Alvaro del Portillo put aside personal achievement to help souls

2014-01-30

The beatification for the late Alvaro del Portillo will take place on September 27. He was the first person to succeed St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. And to get to know him better, one has to look no further than Rome. The current prelate worked beside him for 40 years.

MSGR. JAVIER ECHEVARRÍA
Prelate of Opus Dei
"His message is that everyone needs to learn to be wherever they are, sanctifying everything there: their work, their family ties, their friendships, their contact with every person they meet”.

The beatification ceremony will take place in Madrid, his native city. But Rome will also host a few events, like a thanksgiving Mass, and an audience with the Pope during his General Audience on October 1.

MSGR. JAVIER ECHEVARRÍA
Prelate of Opus Dei
"It seemed very coherent that as 2014 marks the centennial of Don Alvaro's birth, the beatification ceremony could take place in his native city, Madrid. The city was chosen for that reason, and so, many people will be able to attend.”

In 1935, when Alvaro del Portilo studied engineering in Madrid, he met St. Josemaría, and joined Opus Dei. He was also ordained a priest there in 1944.

MSGR. JAVIER ECHEVARRÍA
Prelate of Opus Dei
"He was such a humble, and likeable man, approachable, but he also had an extraordinary intellectual capacity. When he became a priest, he cast aside any personal achievements to dedicate himself to helping souls. He did so with even more joy, than while doing his personal and professional work, to become a saint.”

Each saint is usually associated with a specific cause. Echevarría pointed out which one Catholics can ask del Portillo for guidance.

MSGR. JAVIER ECHEVARRÍA
Prelate of Opus Dei
"To make us humble, without complications. Throughout his life, he was a man at the service of everyone else, but especially at the service of God's plan for him. That was his main message: that God is close to us, and we need to learn how to respond with generosity and joy, in all of the circumstances he places before us.”

Very few people get see the person they've worked with for over 40 years, raised to the altars of the Church. The prelate of Opus Dei shared what the beatification of his predecessor means for him.

MSGR. JAVIER ECHEVARRÍA
Prelate of Opus Dei
"As his successor, I think of the loyalty with which he did everything, thinking about the necessity to be close to Roman Pontiff, the Church and all the souls. I also want my life to translate into this eagerness to serve the Church, serve the Pope, and all souls.”

Echevarría also shared that Alvaro del Portillo had a fondness for Africa, and he launched many social projects there. It's not surprise then that to celebrate his beatification, Opus Dei is raising funds for three projects, in Nigeria, the Congo and Ivory Coast, respectively. The funds will also help cover the costs for African seminarians in Rome. 


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