Messages of Condolence
Since December 12, thousands of messages of condolence for the death of Bishop Echevarría have been received at the central offices of Opus Dei. Below, in alphabetical order, is a small selection of these expressions of gratitude, prayer, and closeness.
Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., (prefect) of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
On hearing the news and recalling his generous service as a bishop and cooperation with this dicastery, as a consultor and member, on behalf of the officials of the congregation, we invoke the Lord Jesus to welcome his faithful servant into the peace of his heavenly kingdom, in communion with the saints and blessed.
Bishop Philip Anyolo, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Kenya
As bishops we have known Bishop Echevarría as a great Shepherd and a loyal Servant of the Church. We cherish his faith, fidelity, commitment and his great contribution to the holiness of the Church in the entire world.
Kiko Argüello, initiator of the Neocatechumenal Way
The Prelate will join Carmen, [co-initiator of the Neocatechumenal Way] in Heaven and from there he will intercede for the Work throughout the world, so that it may be faithful to the charism received from God for the benefit of the whole Church and for his greater glory.
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
I pray that the great and contagious hunger for holiness that characterized his whole life, will now be satiated in the presence of God, of our Lady—whom he loved so much—of St. Josemaría, of Blessed Alvaro and of the many men and women, young and old, who have been helped to live the universal call to holiness through the charism given to St. Josemaría, his successors and his spiritual sons and daughters.
Archbishop Miguel Angel Ayuso, M.C.C.I., Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
To your Holy Dwelling Place! With heartfelt gratitude to God for the gift of the Prelate to the Universal Church.
Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
Together with the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, we express our condolences for the death of the Prelate, assuring our prayers for his soul and for the consolation of the members of the personal Prelature. We remember his active participation in the synod assemblies.
Bishop Virgil Bercea of Oradea Mare, Romania
Bishop Echevarría greatly assisted our Church, helping us in the formation of our seminarians, now priests, and was always happy to meet and talk with us.
Uxue Barkos, President of Navarra, Spain
I would like to express my deep regret at the death of the bishop prelate of Opus Dei, who has been so linked to this community with his visits as chancellor of the University of Navarra. May he rest in peace.
Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, President of the Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City
I accompany you with friendship and prayer in suffrage for the venerable Prelate. I will always remember, with gratitude, his example of dedication to the Lord and of love and fidelity to the Church.
Cardinal Ricardo Blázquez, President of the Spanish Episcopal Conference
I express my condolences and those of the bishops who are members of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, which I extend to all the members of the Prelature. We offer the Lord our prayers for the eternal rest of His Excellency Bishop Echevarría. God will reward his great efforts and labors for the Church.
Don Julián Carrón, President of Communion and Liberation (in the Osservatore Romano)
Don Julián Carrón and all of Communion and Liberation share the pain of the great family of Opus Dei for the passage to heaven of the beloved Bishop Javier Echevarría. Grateful for his witness of a life united to Christ, fully identified with Him and spent in carrying out the work of God in the world, we ask Saint Josemaría and Don Giussani to intercede before our Lady of Guadalupe so that his life may reach its fulfillment in the embrace of Mercy, and so he may continue to accompany those for whom he was their father in the faith, called to be like him bearers of mercy following the path marked out by Pope Francis, whom Bishop Echevarría loved so much.
Cardinal Edward Cassidy, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
I have known the Prelate for many years and treasure that friendship. May he now rest in peace with the Lord he loved and served so well.
Antonio Coscullela, Mayor of Barbastro, Spain
My condolences go hand in hand with recognition and gratitude for the affection that Don Javier always expressed to this city and its people, on the many occasions he visited us.
The Hebrew Community of Rome
The Hebrew Community of Rome joins in expressing condolences for the death of Bishop Javier Echevarría. Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni and Community President Ruth Dureghello send their deepest condolences to Opus Dei for this sad loss.
Latin American Jewish Congress
May his work be remembered by doing good. Blessed be his memory.
Bishop Guerino De Tora, Auxiliary Bishop of Rome
I thank the Lord for the example of the Father, and express all my pain and my condolences.
Georges El Khoury, Lebanon's Ambassador to the Holy See
His name will be engraved in the memory of the Church and of posterity as a great architect of peace and good works in favor of the family, the marginalized, and the disadvantaged.
Zion Evrony, former Israeli Ambassador to the Holy See
He was a man with a good heart and much wisdom. He always welcomed us with warmth and friendship at the center of Opus Dei, and we were happy to welcome him to our home.
H.M. Philip VI, King of Spain
On receiving, with great sadness, the news of the death of Bishop Javier Echevarría, I send my most sincere condolences, which I wish to extend to his relatives and members of the Prelature. In these difficult moments, together with the Queen, we raise up our prayers for the eternal rest of his soul.
Jesús Fonseca, journalist
He was one of those people capable of “sneaking” into the lives of others to stay in the recesses of their heart. He showed me his friendship more than anything. With the kinds of details that only true friends have and that one never forgets. Like that Mass he wanted to celebrate on his own initiative, after the death of my beloved Esther, and whose long and heartfelt homily was dedicated to her, with words that carried weight, depth, and comfort that will accompany me for the rest of my life. Only he and I, in that Roman crypt where his remains now rest, next to two friends. Nobody else.
Sister María Soledad García, Superior General of the Servants of Jesus Institute
I thank God for the saints who have led the Prelature of Opus Dei. I have had the joy and honor to converse with Don Javier for years. I will always remember his accompaniment and the words with which he encouraged me to lead my Servant Sisters of Jesus to God.
M. Azucena García Sánchez, religious of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites
I am sure that he will continue being close to us and intercede for all before God, and watch over, together with Saint Josemaría and Don Alvaro, all his sons and daughters in the Work, while fostering its evangelizing expansion as a leaven for a better world.
Reverend M. Marta Garro Pérez, Superior General of the Religious Institute of the Daughters of Divine Providence
He has preceded us and we know that our prayers will be a “return trip ticket,” for Bishop Javier Echevarría will intercede in heaven for all those who personally or through the members of Opus Dei have known him and been nourished by your teachings.
Paloma Gómez Borrero, journalist
With great sadness I received news of the death of our beloved Don Javier, although, as when John Paul II left us, I am sure Bishop Echevarría “has gone to the Father’s House.” I had a sincere and filial affection for the Prelate, and I can only say to the great Opus Dei family that I share their pain, even though we know we now have him in heaven.
Emilia Guarnieri, President of the Rimini Meeting Foundation
We remember with sincere thanks our encounters with Bishop Echevarría, including his participation in the Rimini Meeting in 2014. We join in the pain and prayer of those who have had him as a father and guide. We are grateful to have been able to know and listen to him; we have been edified and encouraged by his strong missionary zeal and his fatherly and welcoming cordiality.
Sister Ana María Kalathil, Prioress of the Monastery of Santa Isabel (Augustinian Recollect). Madrid
We wish to convey to all the members of the Prelature our sentiments of pain and sorrow. May the Virgin Mary accompany him to the Kingdom reserved for those who have been faithful to the mission entrusted to them by God.
Sister Vega María López, O.A.R., Prioress of the Monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene (Augustinian Recollect), Baeza, Jaen.
Bishop Javier Echevarría is already in the place he longed for, for himself and all his children. He trusted in the prayers of the nuns and, as one would do for one’s father, we pray more intensely that he may enjoy the glory already possessed by Saint Josemaría and Blessed Alvaro.
Mother Julia of the Mother of God, I.C.D., Prioress of the Convent of Saint Joseph of Avila (Discalced Carmelites)
We pray for all the members of the Work so that this blow—still hard to accept although he has left behind the peace of his holy life—may be a spur for fidelity, for inner renewal, for greater union with God. We treasure the pleasant memory of his visit.
Archbishop Juan José Omella, Archbishop of Barcelona
I unite myself to the pain of the whole family of Opus Dei for the loss of Bishop Javier Echevarría. I pray for his eternal rest. May the Lord grant him the prize reserved for good shepherds in his Church.
Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M., Archbishop of Boston
We have a very significant presence of Opus Dei in the Archdiocese of Boston, where they do such important work, particularly with university students, as well as at Montrose School and their retreat house in Pembroke, Arnold Hall. So, I wanted to be in Our Lady of Peace to express my condolences and to assure them of my prayers during this time of transition.
Cardinal Carlos Osoro, Archbishop of Madrid
I thank God for these years of work and service to the Church that Bishop Echevarría has offered through the Work, as well as for his friendship and closeness, which he showed me in visits he made to the dioceses where I have been, and in various encounters with him. In the name of the Archdiocese of Madrid, to all those who are part of Opus Dei, I offer my prayer for the eternal rest of the Prelate. And with all of you, we give thanks for what Don Javier, with his intense, serene, discrete and firm work, has offered to the Church.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops
In the name of the whole Congregation, I wish to express my sentiments of condolence, assuring prayers of suffrage for this beloved bishop as we remember with gratitude his faithful service to the Church.
Mons. Paolo Pezzi, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God (Moscow)
This news filled my heart with the assurance that he has faithfully completed a life lived for God and in service to his Church.
Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome
We join in the pain caused by the death of Bishop Javier Echevarría, so as to remember his example of priestly life and to learn from his loving service to the Church.
Andrea Riccardi, Founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio
Bishop Echevarría led the Work following the “furrow” left by its founder; he sought new languages to reach the disoriented people of our time, and set forth anew for everyone a path to holiness in the life of the laity.
Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil, L.C., General Director of the Legionaries of Christ
We trust that Divine Mercy has allowed Bishop Echevarría to experience what Saint Josemaría said: “Death is a door that opens to Love, to Love with a capital letter, to happiness, to rest, to joy.” We thank the Lord for so many blessings He has given to the Church through the ministry and service of this good father to the faithful of the Prelature.
Cardinal José Francisco Robles Ortega, President of the Mexican Episcopal Conference
We want to express our closeness with the passing to eternal life of Bishop Javier Echevarría. We are sure that the evangelical service of this Work will continue growing and its participation in the Church, in benefit of the world, will be ever greater.
Cardinal Franc Rodé, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
He made the decision to open a new front for the apostolate and presence of Opus Dei in Slovenia, which is already proving a blessing for our Church and the promise of a future rich in spiritual fruits for our people.
Sergio Rodríguez López-Ros, Director of the Cervantes Institute in Rome
I keep in my memory his warm character, his intellectual keenness and his evangelizing zeal. I remember my last meeting with him for the recent consistory of Cardinals, where I was able to witness his pastoral charity with the staff who served us dinner that night, taking an interest in their work and their families.
Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar General Emeritus for the Diocese of Rome
I take part with all my heart in the condolences for the death of the Prelate, Bishop Javier Echevarría, and I join you in praying for him and for the whole prelature.
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches
I entrust him to the Risen Lord with a special remembrance in the celebration of the Divine Sacrifice, and I raise up a prayer of intercession to Our Lady of Guadalupe, to Saint Josemaría and to Blessed Alvaro del Portillo.
Alfonso Sánchez Tabernero, Rector of the University of Navarra
With immense affection from the whole University of Navarra to our beloved Grand Chancellor, who from now on will be helping us from heaven.
José San José Prisco, Rector of the Pontifical Spanish College of Rome
You can count on our prayers so that God will reward so much service and dedication to the mission of the Church from the Prelature.
Abbess of the Convent of Saint Claire (Poor Clares) of Borja
We were notified of his death: Christmas with the Risen One! For you it will be very hard without his presence, kindness and strength, but from the bosom of God he will help you together with Saint Josemaría and Blessed Alvaro del Portillo. We are praying.
Daughters of Holy Mary of the Heart of Jesus
Together with our Mother Foundress, Mother Mary of Jesus, we thank him for his dedication, affection and prayer. We entrust ourselves to his intercession.
Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan
Following the footsteps of Saint Josemaría and Blessed Alvaro, he has guided the Work with clear direction, with an intelligent grasp of the signs of the times and with creative prudence. I thank the Lord for the relationship we have had all these years, and through his person, with the whole Work.
Sister Teodora, O.C.D., Monastery of San José (Discalced Carmelites), Bari, Italy
The Holy Child wanted to welcome to heaven the unforgettable Father Echevarría, to give a deserved reward to this faithful and brave servant. He now contemplates what he gave witness to in his life, with his example and faith.
Bishop Fausto Trávez, OFM, Archbishop of Quito and President of the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference
The bishops of Ecuador wish to express our deep regret for such an irreparable loss. We include in our prayers the family of Opus Dei in Ecuador, and especially the auxiliary vicar, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, and the vicar general, Monsignor Mariano Fazio. Bishop Javier Echevarría is sure to enjoy eternal rest with Saint Josemaría and Don Alvaro del Portillo.
Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, O.S.A., President of the Episcopal Conference of Panama
The Catholic Church in Panama wants to express its solidarity in these moments of pain to all the members of the Prelature, and to encourage them with the hope of our faith that death is a necessary step for enjoying Eternal Glory.
Bishop Rosario Vella, S.D.B., Ambanja (Madagascar)
I had the joy and grace to meet him personally at the Synod for the New Evangelization and at a meeting in Rome: a man of God in his gestures, in his words, in his life. His gaze saw right into your heart, purified you, and loved you very much.
Archbishop Joan-Enric Vives Sicilia, Archbishop of Urgell and co-Prince of Andorra
It was always a joy to talk with him and enjoy his capacity for discernment in confronting problems, and the sharpness of his observations.
Maria Voce, President of the Focolare Movement
He has returned to the House of the Father, along with his predecessors Saint Josemaría Escrivá and Blessed Alvaro del Portillo. He leaves behind an edifying example of self-giving to God and to his brothers and sisters.
Romana, No. 63, July-December 2016, p. 245-254.