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No. 41 • July - December 2005 • Page 204
 
 
 
 •  Holy See
 

A letter to the Prelate for the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination (July 9, 2005)

A Letter to the Prelate for the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination (July 9, 2005)


Venerabili Fratri
XAVERIO ECHEVARRÍA RODRÍGUEZ

Episcopo titulo Cilibiensi
Praelaturae personalis Sanctae Crucis et Operis Dei Praelato

Sacerdotalis tuae vitae et industriae faustissimam appropinquantem celebritatem, quinquagesimam videlicet anniversariam memoriam, novimus te, Venerabilis Frater, una cum universa Praelatura personali Sanctae Crucis et Operis Dei sollemniter esse celebraturum, et ideo Trinitati Sanctissimae toto corde maximas acturum gratias pro hoc ineffabili Sacerdotii dono omnibusque eius beneficiis. Quapropter libentes arripimus singularem hanc occasionem ut felix hoc aureum iubilaeum tibi gratulemur Nostramque ostendamus aestimationem et caritatem.

Adolescens ad Opus Dei aggrediendum praesentiens te vocari suavem Domini vocem prompte secutus es. Aequa expleta institutione, sacerdotali insignitus es ordinatione die VII mensis Augusti anno MCMLV. Lauream etiam consecutus es in Iure Civili atque in Iure Canonico. Varia explevisti officia pastoralia et academica, ac duodeviginti per annos munere functus es a secretis eiusdem Operis Conditoris sancti Iosemariae Escrivá de Balaguer, cuius providum Opus nunc eodem spiritu fideliter moderari pergis.

Intuens sacerdotale longum emensum iter sine dubio recordaberis tot labores et difficultates divina gratia superatas, sed ante omnia tot laetos eventus a Domino tibi tuaeque Praelaturae personali liberaliter concessos. Anno enim MCMLXXXII Operis Dei veluti Secretarius Generalis illud vidisti in Praelaturam erectum personalem, cuius tu statim constitutus es Vicarius Generalis. Duodecim autem elapsis annis, piam post mortem Venerabilis Fratris Alvari del Portillo, tu huius Praelaturae personalis electus es Praelatus eodemque anno nominatus Episcopus titularis Sedis Cilibiensis. Consecrationem proinde episcopalem hic Romae anno MCMXCV amatus Decessor Noster Ioannes Paulus II in sollemnitate Epiphaniae Domini tibi impertivit uti manifestum signum suae benevolentiae et fiduciae.

Praelaturam tuam moderans et considerans in ea gratiam Dei, exemplo, scriptis, verbis atque pastoralibus itineribus hortari non desinis sodales omnes proposito cordis permanere in Domino (Act 11, 23). Personalis sanctitatis desiderium fovens zelumque apostolicum tuorum sacerdotum et laicorum, non solum contemplari potes augescentem gregis tibi concrediti numerum, sed validum Ecclesiae praebere auxilium in urgenti hodiernae societatis evangelizatione. In provincia culturae et scientiarum intendis nuntium christianum ubique ferendum, cuius clarum signum est Pontificia Studiorum Universitas Sanctae Crucis recens constituta. Cordi sunt tibi defensio vitae, familiae et matrimonii, sicut et iuvenum institutio et cura pastoralis.

Accipe ergo, Venerabilis Frater, hoc Nostrae caritatis et liberalis benevolentiae documentum una cum Benedictione Apostolica, quam, caelestis gratiae auspicem, intercedentibus Dei Genetrice Beatissima Virgine Maria et sancto Iosemaria Escrivá de Balaguer, tibi in primis peramanter impertimus, deinde Episcopis, sacerdotibus, viris et mulieribus ad hanc carissimam Praelaturam personalem Sanctae Crucis et Operis Dei pertinentibus cunctisque aliis tam singulare iubilaeum tuum summo cum gaudio celebrantibus.

Ex Aedibus Vaticanis, die IX mensis Iulii, anno MMV, Pontificatus Nostri
primo.

BENEDICTO P.P. XVI

Esteemed Brother
Javier Echevarría Rodríguez

Titular Bishop of Cilibia
Prelate of the Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei



As the joyous commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the start of your priestly life and activity draws near, we have received word, Esteemed Brother, that you plan to celebrate it solemnly, in union with the members of the personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, raising heartfelt thanksgiving to the Blessed Trinity for the ineffable gift of the priesthood and for all its blessings. With great joy, we take advantage of this singular occasion to add our congratulations on this happy jubilee and express our esteem and affection.

While still young, on hearing God’s gentle voice calling you, you promptly followed it, coming to form part of Opus Dei. After the necessary formation, you received priestly ordination on August 7, 1955. You have obtained a doctorate in civil law and in canon law. You have carried out various pastoral and academic ministries. For twenty years you were the Secretary of St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, Founder of Opus Dei, and now you faithfully govern his providential Work with the same spirit.

Casting a glance back on the long priestly path you have followed, you will undoubtedly recall so many labors and difficulties overcome with divine grace; but, above all, so many joyful occasions granted by God to you and to your personal Prelature. As Secretary General, in 1982, you were present at the raising of Opus Dei to the status of a personal Prelature, of which you were immediately named Vicar General. Twelve years later, after the holy death of our Esteemed Brother Álvaro del Portillo, you were elected Prelate of the personal Prelature; and, in the same year, you were named titular bishop of Cilibia. In 1995, here in Rome, on the solemnity of our Lord’s Epiphany, our beloved Predecessor John Paul II conferred on you episcopal ordination, as a clear sign of his benevolence and trust.

Governing your Prelature and contemplating in it the action of God’s grace, you never cease exhorting its members—with your example, with your writings, with your words and your pastoral trips—to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose (Acts 11:23). When you foster the eagerness for personal sanctity and the apostolic zeal of your priests and lay people, not only do you see the flock that has been entrusted to you grow, but you provide an effective help to the Church in her urgent evangelization of present-day society. In the terrain of culture and the sciences, you strive to spread the Christian message in all environments, as is clearly seen in the recently established Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. You bear in your heart the defense of life, the family and marriage, and the formation and pastoral care of young people.

Therefore, Esteemed Brother, receive this proof of our love and benevolence, along with the Apostolic Benediction that, imploring divine grace, through the intercession of the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, we impart to you with all our heart, and also to the bishops, priests, and men and women who form part of the beloved personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, and to all who, filled with joy, celebrate such an important jubilee.

From the Vatican, the 9th day of July of the year 2005, the first of Our Pontificate.

Benedict PP XVI


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