My dear children: may Jesus watch over my daughters and sons for me!
With great gratitude to God, I want to inform you that yesterday afternoon, shortly after returning from India, I received confirmation that the Holy Father Francis has decreed, accepting my petition (given the large number of people who wish to attend the beatification of our beloved Venerable Don Alvaro), that the ceremony will take place in Madrid, on September 27, 2014. This year will also coincide with the centennial of his birth in the capital of Spain on March 11, 1914. Moreover, in accord with the praxis in force since September 20, 2005 (when Benedict XVI established that the Pope would preside only over canonization ceremonies), the beatification will be celebrated by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato.
Although other details regarding the various ceremonies in Madrid and Rome will be made more specific later, I wanted to transmit this news to you, which should fill us with joy, at the same time as we want to use it for the glory of God, and the service of the Church and souls.
I ask that, in this time of special joy, you unite yourselves to my gratitude to the Pope, for his decision that the beatification will go forward of this bishop (for all of us, in years past, a brother; and later Father) who loved and served the Holy Church so much. From now on let us entrust to Don Alvaro the intentions of the Holy Father: the renewed apostolic spirit and service to God of all Christians, the concern and care for the most needy, the upcoming Synod on the family, the holiness of priests, and so many petitions that he asks the People of God to pray for.
I suggest that you take advantage of these months prior to the beatification (I too will do so) to follow more closely in the footsteps of Don Alvaro: in fidelity to our Lord, to the Church, to the Pope, to St. Josemaría, to his brothers and sisters, to his friends, to his sons and daughters in the Work. In considering once again so many bright lights from his life, and getting to know his writings better, let us try to imitate his love for God and others, his desire to fulfill always and in everything the divine Will, his apostolic zeal and capacity to serve souls, as well as his availability to carry on his own shoulders the holy burden of the Work, which is now in your hands and mine.
Don Alvaro spread peace in hearts, as so many people have remarked who knew him personally or through videos of his get-togethers and pastoral trips. My daughter, my son: let us ask him now to obtain for us from God a deep gaudium cum pace in our hearts, also for those who have ever been in contact with the apostolic work of Opus Dei. And let us also ask the soon to be Blessed for peace in the world, ravaged by so many wars and conflicts.
With all my affection, I bless you,
Rome, January 22, 2014