September 30: Masses of Thanksgiving in Rome
As part of the program of acts for the beatification, on Tuesday, September 30, two Masses were celebrated in the Basilicas of St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major respectively presided over by Cardinal Agostino Vallini (Vicar General of the Holy Father for the diocese of Rome), and Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello (Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major). Both basilicas were packed with faithful from many countries, some of whom had to follow the Mass from outside.
During his homily in St. John Lateran, Cardinal Vallini recalled that “Blessed Álvaro del Portillo lived always with the certainty that God never abandoned us and that he always sought his children, especially those who are most lost. The newly beatified had tremendous confidence in God, so much so that St. Josemaría had the same confidence to choose Álvaro del Portillo as his confessor. Blessed Álvaro was always trying to discover the will of God, striving his whole life to correspond to God's will. In this way, he lived a holiness that everyone can live, because it was carried out as part of everyday life.
For his part, Cardinal Santos Abril recalled that Blessed Álvaro "knew how to embody the goodness of God" and "the Christian message announced in deed and in truth, echoing the beauty of the teachings of Vatican II." Teachings that "were constantly in his preaching and in his pastoral work: especially the universal call to holiness, the irreplaceable role of the laity and their freedom, as well as the vocation and mission of priests," he said.
“His life can best be characterized by a real zeal to bring the light and warmth of Christ to all souls,” he continued, “With his teachings, prayer and example, he urged his sons and daughters to work in many environments, looking for occasions to present the figure of Jesus to the people at their side . . . and encouraged many Christians to be consistent with their vocation to be light for the world, illumined by our Lord.” In addition, Santos Abril said that Blessed Álvaro “affirmed the call of John Paul II to carry out the new evangelization in the countries where our Lord’s message of joy and mercy has been obscured.”
“In the life of Blessed Álvaro we contemplate a spirit of overflowing love,” he said, “an operative charity that led him to consistently follow the founder of Opus Dei in a silent way” but “with loving fidelity.”
Romana, No. 59, July-December 2014, p. 224-225.