Declaration on the Beatification of Paul VI (October 18, 2014)

The beatification of Pope Paul VI is a cause of great joy for the entire Church. Paul VI was the Pope who led Vatican II to its conclusion. His pastoral and apostolic impact on the world, as a young priest and in his later responsibilities until taking on his universal mission as Roman Pontiff, is well-known to all Catholics. His pastoral charity helped inspire in Catholics a desire for generous spiritual renewal and deep fidelity to the Gospel message.

I am happy to recall the spirit of service that the then Monsignor Montini showed in serving the Pope and all mankind in his various responsibilities in the Holy See. Today I go to the new Blessed asking him to infuse in all Catholics this same affection, both human and filled with faith, for the Vicar of Christ, now Pope Francis.

Besides welcoming Monsignor Escrivá and Álvaro del Portillo with sincere friendship (later transformed into the affection of our common Father in the Church), I recall very vividly the affection and interest he showed when inaugurating a center run by faithful of Opus Dei for young working-class people in Rome. I realized even more forcefully that day his love for all souls, especially for the most humble, and his desire for social justice: may no one lack what they need. The Holy Father's visit to Centro Elis ended with his giving a fatherly embrace to Saint Josemaría, saying “qui, tutto è Opus Dei!” [“everything here is the Work of God”].

As the Church reflects in a special way on the institution of the family, let us also ask Paul VI for all the families in the world, so that they might be the “communion of love” and the “school of the Gospel” of the spouses, which he spoke to us about during his pilgrimage to Nazareth in 1964, and on so many other occasions when speaking about marriage.

✠ Javier Echevarría

Prelate of Opus Dei

Romana, n. 59, July-December 2014, p. 322.

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