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Greeting of the Vicar General

On the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, this past December 12, God our Lord wished to call into his presence his faithful servant Javier Echevarría, bishop and prelate of Opus Dei, a man with a big heart, who had learned from our founder to love the world passionately. With the fatherly and generous witness of his life as a priest and bishop, following the example of St. Josemaría and of Blessed Alvaro del Portillo (whom he succeeded as head of this pussilus grex [little flock] of the Work), he gave his life in a constant service of love for the Church and souls, amid the simplicity of his daily life.

Before his mortal remains, exposed in this prelatic church of Our Lady of Peace, a great number of faithful gave thanks to God for his life of service: first alongside St. Josemaría and Blessed Alvaro, and then in the 22 years he spent as head of Opus Dei. In all those years he followed the example of our Lord, who came not to be served, but to serve
(Mt 20:28).

Comforted, amid our sorrow, by the supernatural certitude that God protects those who love him (see Rom 8:28), on the 14th of December we interred the body of his servant Javier at the foot of the altar of the crypt of this prelatic church, next to the holy remains of Blessed Alvaro del Portillo. 

Having convoked and celebrated the Elective General Congress in accord with the norms of our particular law, on January 23, 2017 Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz was elected Prelate of Opus Dei, and his election was confirmed by our Holy Father Francis on that same day.

Today, the 27th of January, 2017, on celebrating the solemn entrance into the prelatic church of our prelate Fernando, we raise our hearts in thanksgiving to God the Omnipotent and Merciful Father, from whom proceeds all fatherhood in heaven on earth; to God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ who, before surrendering his life on the Cross, revealed that he would not leave his disciples orphans (see Jn 14:18); and to God the Holy Spirit, the bond of unity and subsistent love of the Father and the Son, for having giving  us on earth a father and prelate who cares  for and governs this family of Opus Dei, guiding it faithfully as a good shepherd along the path of sanctity that the Most Blessed Trinity wanted to establish in his Church  through St. Josemaría.

Now, under the impulse of divine grace, we renew in our souls the firm determination to be faithful to our specific vocation, remaining “consummati in unum” (Jn 17:23) with the Father, with our brothers and sisters spread throughout the whole world, desiring to bring all souls, in union with Peter, to Jesus through Mary.

And so that our desire be acceptable to the Most Blessed Trinity, we go to the powerful intercession of the one who is the Mother of God and our Mother: our Lady, Queen of Opus Dei; and to St Joseph, our father and lord; and to our patrons and intercessors, and St. Josemaría — our most beloved founder—and Blessed Alvaro.

Romana, No. 64, January-June 2017, p. 20-21.