Final Address of the Prelate of Opus Dei Bishop Javier Echevarría, Madrid, September 27, 2014

At the end of this celebration, I would like to show my deepest gratitude to the Holy Trinity for the gift that has been given to the Church today. Today’s action, raising Álvaro del Portillo, the successor of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, to the altars, reminds us of the universal call to holiness proclaimed forcefully by the Second Vatican Council. The earthly life of Blessed Álvaro shows that the complete fulfillment of one’s duties marks the path of personal sanctification, the path that leads to full union with God, to which all should aspire.

I would also like to thank the Blessed Virgin, whose maternal mediation obtains for us many gifts from Heaven. I ask the Mother of God and our Mother to continue to intercede for each and every one of us, so that we keep walking on the path to holiness. We pray in a special way for our sisters and brothers, in various parts of the world who suffer persecution and even martyrdom for the faith.

I would also like to thank the Holy Father Francis, for his fatherly message, for how he shows that he is close to us and for his clear advice for the spiritual struggle of Christians. With deep gratitude I would like to thank Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who, on behalf of the Pope, with such dignity and affection presided over the beatification. I ask that all of us show our thanks in a daily, constant, and intense prayer for the person and the intentions of the Roman Pontiff, for the Bishops and for priests. Let us keep very much in mind the upcoming Synod of Bishops. Let us beseech the Holy Spirit to enlighten the Synod Fathers in their deliberations for the good of the Church and of souls.

I also consider myself duty bound to give special thanks to Benedict XVI, who paved the way for this beatification by recognizing the heroic virtues of Bishop Álvaro, as well as Cardinal Antonio María Rouco, Archbishop of Madrid, who has followed with such attention the procedure for the Cause over the years. Finally, I would like to thank the many Cardinals, Bishops and priests who are present. For all of us, the beatification of Bishop Álvaro has a special meaning because of the faithfulness with which over many years he carried out his direct service to the Church. Moreover, I cannot help but remember that now someone from among the Roman Curia who assisted the Pope and who actively participated in the Second Vatican Council, has now been declared Blessed.

I can imagine the joy—an accidental part of glory—that Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II, as well as the soon to be Blessed Paul VI, must have. Blessed Álvaro served them with full fidelity and filial affection. And I very much like to think about the special joy of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, seeing that this son of his who was most faithful has been proposed as an intercessor and an example for all the faithful.

I give special thanks to the members of the choir and orchestra, which have helped us to live more fully the sacred liturgy, and everyone present here: with your responses and your songs you have sung a magnificent symphony directed to Heaven.

It is possible that I might never finish expressing my gratitude to those who have devoted hours and hours of cheerful work to prepare the celebration. A particular appreciation for professionals in the social media, who have made it possible for many people around the world to be involved in this ceremony from their countries.

I also give a special thanks to those who have prepared, with their prayers and sacrifice, the abundant spiritual fruits of these days. Specifically, the sick and those who for various reasons have not been able to join us physically. But spiritually, they have been very close to us, offering their illnesses and daily work. To all, thank you very much! May the example and intercession of the new Blessed inspire us to keep treading diligently, full of Christian joy, along the path of holiness.

Romana, No. 59, July-December 2014, p. 238-240.

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