O God, merciful Father, you granted your bishop Blessed Álvaro, the grace of being, with our Lady's help, an exemplary pastor in the service of the Church and a most faithful son and successor of Saint Josemaría, the Founder of Opus Dei. Grant that I also may respond faithfully to the demands of the Christian vocation, turning all the circumstances and events of my life into opportunities to love you and to serve the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Deign to grant the canonization of Blessed Álvaro, and through his intercession grant me the favour I request… (here make your petition). Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.
Blessed Álvaro del Portillo was born in Madrid (Spain) on 11 March 1914, into a large and deeply Christian family. As well as graduating as a Public Works official, he obtained doctorates in Civil Engineering, History and Canon Law.
In 1935 he joined Opus Dei. He lived his Christian vocation with great loyalty and faithfulness, through his work and everyday duties, and helped to draw fellow students, colleagues at work and many other people closer to God.
Ordained to the priesthood in 1944, he was completely committed to his pastoral ministry. In 1946 he moved to Rome. His service to the Church was also marked by his dedication to many tasks entrusted to him by the Holy See, especially in the Second Vatican Council. On 15 September 1975 he became the first successor of St Josemaría Escrivá at the head of Opus Dei.
On 28 November 1982 Pope John Paul II erected Opus Dei as a personal Prelature, made up of lay faithful and secular priests, and appointed Blessed Álvaro as its first Prelate. In 1991 he ordained him a bishop. The way he governed Opus Dei was characterized by a deep communion with the Pope and the other Bishops, complete faithfulness to the Founder of Opus Dei and his message, and tireless pastoral zeal.
Early on the morning of 23 March 1994, the Lord called this good and faithful servant to Himself, a few hours after his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where with deep piety he had followed in the footsteps of Jesus in that land. That same day, St John Paul II went to pray before his mortal remains, which now rest in the crypt of the church of the Prelature, Our Lady of Peace, at viale Bruno Buozzi 75, Rome.
He was beatified on 27 September 2014.
Further information is available at www.alvarodelportillo.org
With ecclesiastical approval.