Prelate Blesses a Painting of St. Josemaría in Our Lady of Guadalupe, Spain
Among the saints who have been pilgrims to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, located in the Las Villuercas sierra in the province of Cáceres in Spain, was St. Josemaría. He went there on June 27-28, in 1942, with Blessed Alvaro del Portillo. On July 9, the Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría, blessed a new painting commemorating that pilgrimage. It is the work of the Sevillian artist Ignacio Valdés, done at the behest of Father Antonio Arévalo, the father-guardian of the community of Franciscans that has been in charge of the shrine since 1908.
The blessing of the painting and its placement in the shrine was followed by a Mass concelebrated by Bishop Celso Morga, along with the Prelate of Opus Dei and other priests. Father Antonio Arévalo expressed his thanks for the Prelate’s visit, “a permanent reminder of the visit in 1942 by St. Josemaría and Blessed Alvaro.” In his homily, Bishop Echevarría recalled that he had often heard St. Josemaría speak about that visit, and he invited his listeners “to have recourse to our Lady’s powerful intercession before God with the awareness that we always go and ‘return’ to Jesus through Mary.”
The Prelate thanked the father-guardian for his initiative in installing the new portrait in the basilica and the warm welcome of the Franciscan community, while also asking for prayers for new vocations, for Pope Francis and for all needy persons. The ceremony took place during the Guadalupe Holy Year (September 2015 to September 2016).
Romana, No. 63, July-December 2016, p. 340.