"That's how Bishop Alvaro was"
A teacher, a father, a man of God, a faithful man.... That's how a great variety of people who met Bishop Alvaro del Portillo remember him, including cardinals, mothers, consecrated religious, and professional workers.
John Paul II: He was an example of fortitude, trust in divine providence and fidelity to the See of Peter (Telegram to the Vicar General of Opus Dei, Vatican City, March 23, 1994).
Card. Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith: I remember the humility and availability in any circumstance that characterized the work of Msgr. del Portillo as Consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. With his competence and experience, he offered an exceptional contribution, as I was personally able to verify (Letter to the Vicar General of Opus Dei, Vatican City March 25, 1994).
Sister Teresa Margarita, Discalced Carmelite: I met him on a retreat he gave for young people at the School of the Carmelites of Charity in Vigo in 1945. He impressed me right away with his distinguished demeanor, his recollected spirit and deep humility, and also his simplicity. He was both kind and welcoming, and took care of us with evident goodness (Letter to the Prelate of Opus Dei, Sabaris, June 20, 1998).
Bishop Ramon Búa, Bishop of Calahorra y La Cazada-Logroño: In him I found a brother and bishop of exceptional human and ecclesial standing (Testimonial document, Logroño, January 13, 1996).
Card. Jozef Glemp, Archbishop of Warsaw (1981-2006) and Primate of Poland (1981-2009): He was a man with clear guidelines, full of interior serenity and affection. He was kind and direct, while keeping the gravity of a man of the Church (Testimonial statement, Warsaw, September 7, 1994).
Joaquín Navarro Vals, Spokesman for the Holy See from 1984 to 2006: He leaves behind that indelible footprint evident in men of God who have carried out in silence an important task for the good of others (ABC, Madrid, March 25, 1994).
Ombretta Fumagalli Carulli, Deputy in the Italian Parliament: I have always admired the dignity and moderation with which he reacted in the face of the polemics against Opus Dei artificially promoted in secular environments and also, at times, unfortunately in Catholic circles as well (Romana, X, 1994, p. 55).
Card. Vicente Enrique y Tarancón, Archbishop Emeritus of Madrid: We worked together both in the Council and in the revision of Canon Law. He was very intelligent and able, and also very good (ABC, Madrid, March 24, 1994).
Card. Camillo Ruini, Pope’s Vicar for the Diocese of Rome: I will never forget Don Alvaro’s kindness when he came to see me at the Vicariate. He always left behind a memory and testimony of his dedication to Christ (Discourse at the closing of the diocesan process on the virtues of Alvaro del Portillo, Rome, June 26, 2008).
Card. Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne: A great Christian, a great priest and a model bishop, characterized by a most lively faith in the providence of God (Romana, X, 1994, p. 53).
Bishop Luigi Conti, Nuncio in Honduras: Bishop Alvaro del Portillo was a man in love with serving others. His life was always governed by a demanding spiritual discipline, a high sense of duty, an intense and untiring industriousness, with a complete dedication and self-giving to the cause of Christ, the Church and the Work (Fides, Teguzigalpa, April 1, 1995).
Bishop Stanislalus Lo-Kuang, Archbishop Emeritus of Taiwan: When he came to Taiwan, I invited him to lunch in Fujen University. Bishop Alvaro del Portillo was very sincere, very humble, extemely transparent and simple. There wasn’t a trace of arrogance or affectation in him. He had great apostolic zeal. He understood our difficulties and showed an immense charity. I truly esteem his friendship deeply (Testimonial statement, Taipei, March, 1999).
Alejandro Llano, writer and journalist: He was the living synthesis of two cultures: the humanistic and the technical. He was a great intellectual and university figure (La Vanguardia, Barcelona, March 24, 1994).
Card. Angel Suquía, Archbishop of Madrid from 1983 to 1994: He was a deeply good man, affectionate in his conversation, very prudent and very cheerful. I don’t remember ever having left him without more joy than when going to speak with him (ABC, Madrid, March 24, 1994).
Vittorio Messori, writer and journalist: You felt more like going to confession with him than interviewing him. You could see that he had been an engineer, specializing in roads and bridges. Behind the clothing of a bishop, a man who knew the world very well showed through (Corriere della Sera, Milan, March 24, 1994).
Card. Antonio María Rouco, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela (now Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid): He played a key role in making lay people aware that all are called to be children of God: a beautiful lesson, an urgent task, which our brother lived and tried to foster in the Church through Opus Dei (El Correo Gallego, Santiago de Compostela, March 27, 1994).
March 10, 2014