Three Great Achievements of Blessed Alvaro del Portillo

Principal Achievement: to recognize the sanctity of St. Josemaria Escriva as being “another Christ,” and this as the ascetical style for the universal Church. The proof of this are the three aspects of this achievement:

1 – The introduction of the universal call to holiness with the characteristic of secularity into the Church through Vatican II. Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium #31 will say: “By reason of their special vocation it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will. They live  in the world, that is, they are engaged in each and every work and business of the earth and in the ordinary circumstances of social and family life which, as it were, constitute their very existence. There they are called by God…”

                Escriva  had preached: “there is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it.” D. Alvaro continued: “that is what our Father constantly preached: a clear and demanding invitation to discover the divine Wisdom and Love in all creatures and in all the circumstances of human life, and thereby sing a song of glory to the Most Holy Trinity…”[1] S. Alvaro then wrote: “This doctrine is so transcendental that the Church has wanted to proclaim it solemnly in the last Council and to make it into ‘the most characteristic featured and the ultimate purpose of all the Conciliar teaching.” He footnoted that from Pope Paul VI in his Motu proprio ‘Sanctitas clarior,’ of March 19, 1969.

2 – Shepherding Opus Dei into the canonical structure of the Church as a  Personal Prelature (which is the equivalent of a secular diocese) with laity and priests equally called to sanctity each in his/her own way under the jurisdiction of the Prelate (Bishop). St. Josemaria understood Opus Dei to be “a little bit of the Church.”

3 – Overseeing the process of canonization of the St. Josemaria Escriva that took place on Oct. 6, 2002.

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