Bishop Alvaro del Portillo
Audience with Pope Francis
About 15,000 people out of those who came to Rome to celebrate the beatification of Alvaro del Portillo attended of the papal audience with Pope Francis this morning. The beatification took place in Madrid on 27 September. By attending the audience, these faithful wanted to show their union with the Holy Father as well as their appreciation for the beatification.
Bishop Echevarria, Prelate of Opus Dei, Greets the Pope
Pope Francis specifically addressed them, saying, "I greet Bishop Javier Echevarria, Prelate of Opus Dei, as well as to the faithful of the Prelature here present to give thanks to God for the beatification of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo and I encourage you to seek his intercession and his example to help you respond generously to God's call to holiness and apostolate in ordinary life, in the service of the Church and of humanity, thank you very much and God bless.”
Bishop Echevarria: Thank you, Holy Father
“In this moment of deep joy,” explained Bishop Javier Echevarría, Prelate of Opus Dei “I wish to thank Pope Francis for the beatification for a bishop who loved and served the Church. We entrust to Blessed Alvaro the intentions of the Holy Father's apostolic renewal and service to God of all Christians, the promotion and support of the needy, the next Synod on the family, and the sanctity of priests.”
José Ignacio Greets the Pope
José Ignacio, the Chilean boy miraculously cured through the intercession of Blessed Alvaro, greeted the Holy Father at the end of the audience. "The Pope has asked me to pray for him," he said afterward. His parents accompanied José Ignacio. His mother, Susan Wilson, explained: "We gave the Pope the requests that we had put next to the relic of Blessed Alvaro. These have been moments of great joy and deep gratitude." She added: "We told him that in Chile we pray a lot for him and his intentions. We are very excited. These are days of great graces, full of blessings, and so many loving people who have greeted us."
José Ignacio, the Chilean boy miraculously cured through the intercession of Blessed Alvaro
Her husband, Javier Ureta, added, "It represents a great joy despite the pain. It means that the time when José Ignacio was injured has resulted in a huge blessing for the whole world. It really highlights the image of Don Alvaro as an example of life and the way to holiness. We asked the Pope to give us the blessing for 15 years of marriage. He told us to be an example of 'marriage forever.'”
The Pope Helps us to be Betters
Here in Rome, most of the participants in the acts of thanksgiving for the beatification of Alvaro del Portillo come from America, Asia, Africa and Oceania, as well as Italian faithful from all parts of Italy. In some cases, as has happened with pilgrims from Africa and some countries in South America, coming to both Madrid and Rome has meant a considerable effort.
This is the case of Alphonse Mosolo, a doctor from Congo, who works in Monkole hospital in Kinshasa. He has come to Rome for the first time in his life. Dr. Mosolo said, "to listen to the Pope means a great deal for my faith and hope. It helps me to be better and not be discouraged by problems.”
This morning, Mara Celani, spokeswoman for the beatification of the events in Rome, her husband and five children were able to greet the Pope. She said: "It was a great thrill, the Pope invited us to give to our entire community the gifts that God had given us. Just as the Blessed Alvaro is a gift for the whole Church."