Álvaro del Portillo - Chancellor (1975-1994). University of Navarra
Get to know_chancellery-gc-don-alvaro-bio
Blessed Alvaro del Portillo
Álvaro del Portillo was born on 11 March 1914 in Madrid, the third of eight siblings.
He studied Public Works at teaching assistant (3 years, in order to be able to help his family financially) as well as Civil Engineering, where he obtained his doctorate Degree years later. He also obtained a doctorate in Philosophy (History) and Canon Law.
In 1935 he joined Opus Dei, which Saint Josemaría had founded seven years earlier, and on 25 June 1944 he was ordained priest by the bishop of Madrid, Bishop Leopoldo Eijo y Garay. In 1946 he moved to Rome, where he continued to be the principal partner of the founder of Opus Dei until his death in 1975.
He was consultant of various bodies of the Holy See, such as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the Pontifical committee for Social Communications. He served at the Second Vatican Council, first as president of the Antepreparatory Commission for the Laity and then as secretary of the Commission on the discipline of the clergy and as consultant of other commissions.
In 1975 he was chosen to succeed Saint Josemaría. When Opus Dei was erected as a personal prelature, the Holy Father appointed him prelate. In 1990 he was appointed bishop by John Paul II, who conferred episcopal ordination on him on 6 January 1991. He died in Rome on 23 March 1994.
He always felt a great love for Africa, which led him to encourage the setting up of numerous social and educational initiatives, such as the Centre Hospitalier Monkole (Kinshasa, Congo) and the Niger Foundation (Enugu, Nigeria).
On 27 September 2014 he was beatified in Madrid, his native city.
With Saint Josemaría
Don Álvaro del Portillo accompanied the founder of the University on all his visits to campus. In 1972, together with Saint Josemaría, he attended the investiture as Doctors Honoris Causa of Juan de Contreras y López de Ayala, Erich Letterer and Paul Ourliac.
In 1975, on the death of Saint Josemaría and elected as his successor, Don Álvaro took over the position of Chancellor of the University. The first act he presided over as such was a tribute to Saint Josemaría, held on 12 June 1976.
Visits to the Clinic
Whenever Don Álvaro travelled to Pamplona, he visited Clínica Universidad de Navarra. He also did so in January 1985, when he came to greet the children admitted to Paediatrics.
Don Álvaro del Portillo presided, as Chancellor of the University, over two acts of investiture of Honorary Doctors; the first, in 1989.
In 1989, D. Álvaro travelled to Pamplona for the doctoral graduation ceremony Honoris Causa. He also gave two talks at sports center, which were attended by numerous students and professionals from the University.
In 1990, Don Alvaro attended the Theology Symposium, and again took advantage of his stay at the University to greet students and professionals, and their families.
Last act at the University
On 29 January 1994, D. Álvaro del Portillo once again presided over the investiture of Honorary Doctors. It was his last act as Chancellor of the University. He died two months later, on 23 March of the same year.