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Celebration of the centenary of the birth of D. Álvaro del Portillo

He was Chancellor of the University from 1975 to 1994.

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D. Alvaro will be beatified on September 27 in Madrid. PHOTO: Courtesy.
26/03/14 12:55 Elena Ojer

Next Sunday, March 30, the University will celebrate a Mass on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of D. Álvaro del Portillo. It will take place at 12h. in the sports center; and will be officiated by Don Ramón Herrando, current Vice Chancellor of the University.

Alvaro del Portillo was Chancellor of the University from 1975 to 1994: from the time he succeeded St. Josemaría Escrivá as Prelate of Opus Dei until his death.

He was the first hand driving force behind the launching of research center Applied Medicine (CIMA), and what is now Institute for Culture and Society (ICS). The School of Theology also owes its growth to him.

A life dedicated to the Church and to others

Mr. Álvaro was born on March 11, 1914 in Madrid, the third of eight siblings.

He studied teaching assistant of Public Works (3 years, in order to help his family economically) at the same time as Civil Engineering, where he obtained his doctorate Degree years later. He also received his doctorate in Philosophy (History) and in Canon Law.

In 1935 he joined Opus Dei, which St. Josemaría had founded seven years earlier, and on June 25, 1944 he was ordained a 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 organisms 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 St. Josemaría. When Opus Dei was erected as a prelature staff, the Holy Father named him prelate. In 1990 he was appointed bishop by John Paul II, who conferred episcopal ordination on him on January 6, 1991. He died in Rome on March 23, 1994.

He always felt a great love for Africa, which led him to stimulate the implementation of numerous social and educational initiatives, such as the Centre Hospitalier Monkole (Kinshasa, Congo) and the Niger Foundation (Enugu, Nigeria), examples of institutions of social development carried out under the direct impulse of Monsignor del Portillo.

On July 5, 2013, Pope Francis approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of D. Alvaro; and a few months later, the date of his beatification ceremony was announced, which will take place on September 27, in Madrid, his hometown.