The beatification of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo (1914-1994), first successor of Saint Josemaría as head of Opus Dei, took place in Madrid on Saturday, 27 September 2014.
- See various videos, letter of Pope Francis and homily of Cardinal Amato here.
- Zenit report here.
- Photos of ceremony here.
The first occasion Bishop del Portillo visited Ireland was in 1952 when he came to meet the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr John Charles McQuaid, to complete the juridical formalities for the establishment of Opus Dei in this country. Lay members of the young organisation had arrived in Dublin in the late 1940s and the first Irish men and women had committed themselves to its work by 1950. The central task of members of Opus Dei is to spread the idea that all men and women are called to the fullness of the Christian life, whatever their work or condition in the world might be. Men and women in Opus Dei do this while remaining where they are, be it at home with their families, in the office, hospital or factory.
In 1959 Bishop del Portillo visited Ireland in the company of St Josemaría Escrivá. In the 1980s, after he was elected to succeed St Josemaría Escrivá, he came again on three occasions. On one visit, in August 1980, he visited the shrine of Our Lady at Knock, when it rained relentlessly. He remarked that since that was also the experience of the visionaries there in 1879, he felt it was entirely appropriate that he should share that same experience.
Bishop Alvaro del Portillo in Rockbrook Park School, Dublin
3 August 1980
On Friday, 5 July 2013 Pope Francis signed decrees approving a miracle obtained through the intercession of the then Blessed John Paul II and another attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, thus opening the way for beatification and canonisation respectively.