Announcement of a Marian year of thanksgiving


By the grace of God and of the Apostolic See

Prelate of Opus Dei


In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Omnes cum Petro, ad Iesum per Mariam! Lead all souls to Jesus, through the mediation of Blessed Mary, in union with the successor of Peter, the visible head of the universal Church, and with the bishops of the whole world, was an intimate aspiration of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, who by the grace of God and the Holy Father John Paul II has been solemnly inscribed in the catalog of the saints.

To realize this aspiration with the spirit of Saint Josemaría—seeking the sanctification of professional work and of family and social life, and thus fulfilling the apostolic mission of the children of God—we go to the mediation of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, the most excellent model of holiness from Nazareth to the sacrifice of Calvary, who participated in an incomparable way in the work of our redemption, giving us an example of the love with which those who cooperate in the apostolic mission of the Church should be animated (cf. Lumen Gentium, no. 65).

Let us beseech the powerful intercession of our Lady, invoking Saint Joseph, our Father and Lord, Saint Josemaría, and all the saints who have given witness to the faith throughout the centuries: especially that large group of early Christians who gathered with the apostles and Mary in Jerusalem (cf. Acts 1:145) and who then spread out all over to propagate the Gospel with the force of the Holy Spirit, and to those who gave their lives for Christ in this city of Rome, together with Peter and Paul, and who lighted up society with the fire of their faith and their love.

That this request for help from our Mother might rise perseveringly to heaven, we wish, with a unanimous desire in the hearts of all of us, that the time of thanksgiving for the canonization of Saint Josemaría be a Marian time, dedicated especially to the Most Holy Virgin Mary.

In accord with the advice of my predecessor as Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, most faithful son of Saint Josemaría, we want our devotion to our Lady to be more present each day, in everything and for everything, during this Marian period of time. Let us show her our love by putting great care into the prayer of the Holy Rosary and the other practices of Marian piety that our beloved Founder indicated to us. Let us spread the love of the Most Holy Virgin in our apostolic work. This is a sure path to reach Jesus, especially in the Eucharist and in Penance, and we ask her that society learn to respect life, the dignity and freedom of the human person and of the family. And so that our piety and apostolate be nourished by doctrine, let us frequently meditate in this Marian time on the teachings of the Church’s magisterium in regard to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

For this purpose, having heard the views of the General Council and the Central Advisory,

I decree

for the Prelature of Opus Dei a Marian Year of thanksgiving, which will begin on October 16, 2002 and end on October 16, 2003, the 25th anniversary of the election of John Paul II as successor of Peter.

During this Marian Year

1. In the Centers of the Prelature, the Mass of Our Lady is to be celebrated on every Saturday in which this is permitted by the Liturgical Calendar, and I ask that on this day each one offer the prayer of a part of the Holy Rosary for the Roman Pontiff and his intentions.

2. I also wish that in addition to the Marian pilgrimage that the faithful of the Prelature habitually make in the month of May, that they also go to a Marian Shrine, saying the complete Rosary in thanksgiving, in February and in October of 2003.

Omnes cum Petro, ad Iesum per Mariam!

Issued in Rome on October 2, 2002, the day of the solemn canonization of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, at the beginning of the 75th year of the foundation of Opus Dei.

+ Javier Echevarría

Fernando Ocáriz, Vicar General

Reg. Gen. R. lib. VI pag. 11

The Cause of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo


By the grace of God and of the Apostolic See

Prelate of Opus Dei


Most Rev. Javier Echevarría Rodriguez, Prelate, to all the faithful of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei.

You will remember that, immediately after his death in Rome at the seat of the Prelatic Curia, on March 23, 1994, there began to be seen clear signs of the solid and widespread reputation for holiness enjoyed by Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, Prelate of Opus Dei. Desiring to document in a sufficiently ample way his exemplary Christian life, on May 23, 1994, the Vicar General, Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz, sent out a questionnaire with 252 questions about Bishop del Portillo.

From the testimonies we received, we felt compelled to continue the investigation. After having fulfilled the steps required by the current norms, we have reached the conclusion that conditions exist for the introduction of the cause of canonization of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo. I therefore direct myself to all of the faithful of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei and invite those who feel that they have information useful in relation to the cause, whether in favor or against it, as well as writings of Bishop del Portillo, or documents concerning him and his work, asking them to make them known with complete freedom, thus allowing the investigation to attain its end and the truth to be fully revealed.

Rome, December 6, 2002.

+ Javier Echevarría

Francisco Vives, Chancellor of the Prelatic Curia

Reg. Gen. R. lib. VI pag. 12

Romana, n. 35, July-December 2002, p. 293-301.

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