Valencia and Murcia: June 8 to 12, 2023

Late on June 8, the Prelate of Opus Dei arrived at La Lloma, a retreat center located a few kilometers from Valencia. This was his first trip as Prelate to this city, currently the seat of the Opus Dei delegation of Aragon and Levante. During his four-day stay there and in the capital of Murcia, he received expressions of affection from every corner of the delegation, including Huesca, Cartagena, Zaragoza, Teruel, Castellón, Alicante, the Balearic Islands, Albacete and, of course, Valencia and Murcia. He had the opportunity to meet with families, with young people, and with priests.

On Friday the 9th he went to greet the newly appointed metropolitan archbishop, Most Rev. Enrique Benavent. Right afterwards he went to pray to Our Lady of the Forsaken, patroness of Valencia, to place under her protection his apostolic efforts during the upcoming days.

In get-togethers that same day with young people who receive Christian formation in the Work’s centers, he insisted on the need to bring into their own life everything they learn, in order to be able to transmit it to others. He also stressed the importance of prayer and getting to know Christ well: “With the assurance of faith can we help others and also face our own difficulties. Prayer is a very great strength. St. Josemaría said with full conviction that in the Work the only weapon we have is prayer.”

After dinner, he spent some pleasant and relaxed moments with professional men working in the university, who told him anecdotes about their work.

On Saturday, the Prelate had several large get-togethers with families from different parts of Aragon, the Valencian area and the Balearic Islands. As on other occasions, besides speaking about various aspects of Christian life (including the Eucharist, since the following day was the feast of Corpus Christi) and answering questions from the audience, he asked for prayers for Pope Francis, for his recovery, since he had to undergo an abdominal hernia operation, and for all the concerns of the Church. The testimony of Estrella, who works in a court for cases of violence against women, was striking. After speaking in dramatic terms of the pain and suffering she sees every day, she asked how she could better accompany each person who is suffering. The Prelate invited her to consider that God is not indifferent to evil, and therefore “in the face of the evil we see in the world we must pray for people, and not get used to it.” He also encouraged her to help these people, to the extent that she can, by showing a concern that goes beyond the strictly professional.

On the 11th, Monsignor Ocáriz spent the day in Murcia, where he had two catechetical get-togethers in the Casón de la Vega. It was a very brief stay, but he left behind the hope of a future visit. “If life gives me the chance, I will try to return,” he told them, when saying goodbye. The following day he returned to Rome.

Romana, n. 76, January-June 2023, p. 45-46.

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