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More than 2,000 people at the Mass for the centenary of Bishop Álvaro del Portillo, Chancellor of the University (1975-1994)

The Vicar of Opus Dei in Spain highlighted his goodness and fidelity.

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Moment of the celebration for the centenary of the birth of D. Álvaro del Portillo. PHOTO: Manuel Castells
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Mr. Álvaro del Portillo. PHOTO: Manuel Castells
31/03/14 09:37

quotation More than 2,000 people gathered this Sunday at sports center of the University of Navarra to participate in a Mass on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Venerable Alvaro del Portillo, prelate of Opus Dei and Chancellor of the University of Navarra (1975-1994), who will be beatified on September 27 in Madrid.

The Eucharistic concelebration was presided over by Msgr. Ramón Herrando, Vicar of Opus Dei in Spain and Vice Chancellor of the University of Navarra. Among the concelebrants were Dr. Rafael Salvador, Vicar of Opus Dei in Pamplona, and Professor Jorge Miras, University Chaplain of the University, along with four other priests. The musical part was provided by position of the Bidasoa International Ecclesiastical high school . The Mass was attended by numerous professionals from campus, including professors, students, doctors and nurses, staff administration and services, as well as residents of the city.

Good and faithful servant

In his homily, Bishop Herrando, addressing those present, who filled the sports center of the University, affirmed that the words "good and faithful servant" of the Sacred Scripture "manifest the most characteristic quality and virtue of Don Alvaro: his goodness and fidelity. We are gathered here today to give thanks to God for those one hundred years that comprise the 80 years of life on earth, supporting with heroic loyalty the will of God and the 20 years of his intercession in heaven".

He also mentioned Bishop del Portillo's love and affection for the Eucharist, pointing out the loving manifestation of Divine Providence towards him when the Lord called him to His presence hours after he had celebrated his last Mass in the Cenacle, "where Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the Priesthood".           

In this regard, he recalled the eagerness with which Venerable Alvaro del Portillo encouraged everyone to "go very often to the Sacrament of Penance," which he always referred to as "the Sacrament of joy," and with which, together with the Eucharist, "he always found the light and joy to respond affirmatively to our Lord and fulfill the mission statement that God had entrusted to him."        

He then highlighted some words pronounced recently at a Mass by the Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría, which made reference letter when Don Álvaro was asked about the happiest moment of his life. Every time I go to confession, because our Lord forgives my sins," he said. Let us think about this divine and human marvel: Confession done well is always a moment of peace, of joy - of happiness - that only God can give. We are all invited to experience it in a deeper way as Easter approaches.

A life dedicated to the Church and to others

Bishop del Portillo was born on March 11, 1914 in Madrid. In 1935 he joined Opus Dei, which St. Josemaría had founded seven years earlier. Nine years later he moved to Rome, where he continued to be the principal partner of the founder of Opus Dei, until his death in 1975. In that year he was elected to succeed St. Josemaría. When Opus Dei was erected as a prelature staff, the Holy Father appointed 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. On July 5, 2013, Pope Francis approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Bishop del Portillo; and a few months later, the date of his beatification was announced, which will take place on September 27, in Madrid.