En la tierra como en el cielo (On Earth as in Heaven), the First Book about Bishop Javier Echevarria by Alvaro Sanchez Leon
The book En la tierra como en el cielo (Rialp), by journalist Álvaro Sánchez León, recounts through 45 interviews the life of the second successor of Saint Josemaría at the head of Opus Dei, Javier Echevarría. The first book about the previous Prelate of Opus Dei, it was presented on March 1 in Madrid.
During his presentation, the author explained that he had tried to “provide a sketch of the life of Bishop Javier Echevarría (1932-2016) through 45 interviews with people who lived with him or dealt with him, including relatives, friends, and co-workers, as well as the prefect of the Pontifical Household, Georg Gänswein, and the Cardinal of Madrid, Carlos Osoro.”
Sánchez León, who was born in Seville in 1979, said that the book contains “stories about the heart and soul” of Bishop Javier Echevarría, highlighting “his humanity, the scope of his pastoral concern and the projects he urged forward throughout the world.”
With a preface by the current Prelate of Opus Dei, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, the book focuses on the 22 years during which Bishop Javier Echevarría was at the head of the Prelature’s government. It also gives an overview of his relationship with Saint John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis.
Sánchez León stressed that this book “is not a biography or hagiography. It is a journalistic collage that illustrates, with a panoramic view, the keys to the life of a good person who strove to improve our contemporary world.”
He also noted that On Earth as in Heaven is addressed to a very broad audience, which can find an attractive example to lead a deep life of faith: “My protagonist first found God in his life, and then met St. Josemaría, and both discoveries were the key to his life, both humanly and supernaturally.”
Romana, n. 66, January-June 2018, p. 165.