October 1: An Audience with Pope Francis

Pope Francis specifically addressed them, saying, “I greet Bishop Javier Echevarría, Prelate of Opus Dei, as well as the faithful of the Prelature here present to give thanks to God for the beatification of Bishop Álvaro del Portillo. And I encourage you to seek his intercession and his example to help you respond generously to God's call to holiness and apostolate in ordinary life, in the service of the Church and of humanity, thank you very much and God bless you.”

José Ignacio Greets the Pope

José Ignacio, the Chilean boy miraculously cured through the intercession of Blessed Álvaro, greeted the Holy Father at the end of the audience. “The Pope asked me to pray for him," he said afterward. His parents, who accompanied José Ignacio, gave the Pope the requests that had been put next to the relic of Blessed Álvaro on the preceding days. “These have been moments of great joy and deep gratitude," said Susana Wilson, the mother of José Ignacio. “We told him that in Chile we pray a lot for him and his intentions. We are very excited. These are days of great graces, full of blessings, and so many loving people who have greeted us.”

Her husband, Javier Ureta, summed up the family’s joy, “It is a great joy despite all the suffering from the time when José Ignacio was sick, it has resulted in a huge blessing for the whole world. It really highlights the image of Don Álvaro as an example of a life of holiness. We asked the Pope to give us his blessing for 15 years of our marriage, and he told us to be an example of ‘marriage forever.’”

Most of the participants in the acts of thanksgiving for the beatification of Álvaro del Portillo in Rome came from the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Oceania, as well as Italian faithful from all parts of Italy. In some cases, as was the case with pilgrims from Africa and from some countries in South America, coming to both Madrid and Rome meant a considerable sacrifice.

Romana, n. 59, July-December 2014, p. 226-228.

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