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First session of the processes on the life, virtues, and reputation for holiness of the married couple Tomás Alvira and Paquita Domínguez (February 19, 2009)

On February 19th, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid, presided at the session opening the Cause of Canonization of the married couple, the Servants of God Paquita Dominguez Susín and Tomas Alvira Alvira, faithful of the Opus Dei Prelature.

In the presence of their eight living children (one child died at the age of five), the Cardinal emphasized “the need for the Gospel of the family to be proclaimed” and pointed to the Alviras as “an example of this witness in the twentieth century.”

At the same time, a diocesan tribunal was appointed which will assemble the evidence needed to “determine if they can be considered as an example and as intercessors for all Catholics,” the Postulator of the Cause, Fr. Jose Carlos Martin de la Hoz, stated.

Tomas Alvira and Paquita Dominguez joined Opus Dei in 1947 and 1952, respectively, and carried out their professional life in Aragon and Madrid. Dr. Alvira was a professor of Natural Science and a researcher for the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). His wife was a teacher.

Cardinal Rouco recalled that John Paul II, before the new millennium, stressed the importance of the holiness of Christian couples, and said that “the Christian witness of the family is very necessary.” Up to now two married couples have been beatified: Luis and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi in 2001 and the parents of St. Theresa of Lisieux, Louis Martin and Zélie Guérin, in 2008. Although holiness certainly is always personal, these processes are being carried out simultaneously for both spouses.

Romana, No. 48, January-June 2009, p. 127.