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Pope Francis

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Theologians and experts reflect on the life and works of Álvaro del Portillo

2014-03-18

The month of March marks 100 years since the birth of Álvaro del Portillo. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross organized a conference to reflect on the life and works of the late prelate. 

For nearly 40 years, he worked alongside the founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaría Escrivá, eventually succeeding him. 

JOHN F. COVERDALE
Seton Hall University, New Jersey (USA)
"He had a very strong sense that his vocational life was to help Saint Josemaría, and to be available to him, even though much of the time he didn't do anything. He just listened.” 

MSGR. JOAQUIN ALONSO
 Alvaro del Portillo's Secretary 
"St. Augustine often said that humility is the foundation for charity and love. Don Alvaro showed great charity with all people.” 

He expanded the presence of Opus Dei in Northern and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa, starting social programs along the way. 

LEON TSHILOLO
Monkole Medical Center (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
"The Monkole Medical Center was established thanks to Alvaro del Portillo. Back then, he met with the Vicar of Opus Dei in that area, to discuss how they could open a hospital in Kinshasa that offered quality heath care to everyone, but especially the needy.” 

After the death of St. Josemaría, he oversaw all the work, so that Opus Dei could become a personal prelature. He also helped new congregations establish their legal standing in the Church. 

SISTER AZUCENA MARÍA
Daughters of Holy Mary of the Heart of Jesus
"When visiting Rome, our mother superior, Maria de Jesus, would always meet with Don Alvaro del Portillo. She needed help with our institute and he helped us in the process, until the Holy See recognized it as autonomous.” 

Alvaro del Portillo died on March 23, 1994 at the age of 80, shortly after visiting the Holy Land. John Paul II who considered him a friend, prayed before his remains. Twenty years later, on September 27th, 2014, he will be beatified in his native city of Madrid. 


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