Álvaro del Portillo is beatified

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(-ONLY VIDEO-) The first successor of Josemarí­a Escrivá as prelate of Opus Dei has been beatified. Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided over the beatification ceremony in Madrid in front of thousands of pilgrims.

Pope Francis signed the decree that recognized the miracle attributed to the intercession of ílvaro del Portillo on July 5th, 2013. A newborn with numerous medical conditions was miraculosly healed after suffering major cardiac arrest.

Pope Francis sent a message on the occasion of the beatification of Alvaro del Portillo.

Dear brother,

The beatification of the Servant of God ílvaro del
Portillo, faithful collaborator of St Josemarí­a Escrivá and his first successor
at the head of Opus Dei, is a moment of special joy for all the faithful of the
Prelature, and also for you, who were for so long a witness of his love for God
and others, and his fidelity to the Church and to his vocation. I too wish to
unite myself to your joy and to thank God, who embellishes the face of the
Church with the holiness of her children.

His beatification will take place in Madrid, the city
where he was born and spent his childhood and youth. Here his life began to
take shape in the simplicity of family life, through friendship and service to
others, as when he went to outlying districts to help provide human and
Christian formation to so many people in need. And in this city, above all,
there took place the event that definitively marked the course of his life: his
meeting with St Josemarí­a Escrivá, from whom he learned to fall more in love
with Christ every day. Yes, to fall in love with Christ. This is the path to
holiness that every Christian has to follow: to let ourselves be loved by the Lord,
to open up our hearts to his love, and to allow him to be the one who guides
our lives.

I like to recall the aspiration that the Servant of
God would often repeat, especially for personal celebrations and anniversaries:
'Thank you; forgive me; help me more!� These words bring us closer to the
reality of his interior life and his relationship with the Lord, and can also help
to give a new impulse to our own Christian life.

In the first place, Thank you. This is the soulâ??s immediate, spontaneous reaction on experiencing
Godâ??s goodness. It cannot be otherwise. He always goes ahead of us. However
hard we try, his love always gets there first, touches and caresses us first, Hebeats us to it. ílvaro del Portillo
was aware of the many gifts God had given him, and thanked God for that
manifestation of his fatherly love. But he did not stop at that: his
recognition of Our Lordâ??s love awakened in his heart desires to follow him with
greater commitment and generosity, and to lead a life of humble service to
others. Especially outstanding was his love for the Church, the Spouse of
Christ, whom he served with a heart devoid of worldly self-interest, far from discord,
welcoming towards everyone and always seeking in others what was positive, what
united, what was constructive. He never spoke a word of complaint or criticism,
even at especially difficult times, but instead, as he had learned from St
Josemarí­a, he always responded with prayer, forgiveness, understanding and
sincere charity.

Forgive me.He often confessed that he saw himself empty-handed before God, incapable of
responding to so much generosity. But to admit our poverty as human beings is
not the result of despair but confident abandonment in God who is our Father.
It means opening ourselves to his mercy, his love, which is able to regenerate
our life. His love does not humiliate us, nor cast us into the depths of guilt,
but embraces us, lifts us up from our prostration and enables us to go forward
with more determination and joy. The Servant of God ílvaro knew the need we
have of Godâ??s mercy, and devoted a lot of his own energy to encouraging the
people he met to go to the sacrament of Confession, the sacrament of joy. How
important it is to feel the tenderness of Godâ??s love, and discover that there
is still time to love!

Help me more.
Yes, the Lord never abandons us, he is always at our side, he journeys with us,
and every day he expects new love from us. His grace will not fail us, and with
his help we can take his name to the whole world. The heart of the new Blessed beat
with the desire to bring the Good News to all hearts. And so he travelled to
many countries to foster new projects for evangelization, undeterred by difficulties,
moved by his love for God and his brethren. One who is very immersed in God is
able to be very close to other people. The first condition for announcing
Christ to them is to love them, because Christ loves them before we do. We have
to leave behind our selfish concerns and love of comfort, and go out to meet
our brothers and sisters. That is where Our Lord is awaiting us. We cannot keep
our faith to ourselves: it is a gift we have received to give away and share
with others.

Thank you, forgive me, help me! These words express
the thrust of a life that is centered on God. It is the life of someone who has
been touched by the greatest Love and who lives totally on that love; someone
who, while experiencing their own human weakness and limitations, trusts in
Godâ??s mercy and wants all mankind, their brothers and sisters, to experience it

Dear brother, Blessed ílvaro del Portillo is sending
us a very clear message. He is telling us to trust in the Lord, that he is our
brother, our friend, who never lets us down and is always at our side. He is
encouraging us not to be afraid to go against the current and suffer for
announcing the Gospel. He is also teaching us that in the simplicity and
ordinariness of our daily lives we can find a sure path to holiness.

I ask all the faithful of the Prelature, priests and
lay-people, as well as all those who take part in its activities, to please pray
for me. At the same time, I give them all my Apostolic Blessing.

May Jesus bless you, and may the Holy Virgin watch
over you.

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