Bp. Alvaro del Portillo Prayer Card

Author: Opus Dei

BISHOP ALVARO DEL PORTILLO Prelate of Opus Dei Prayer for private devotion

O God, most merciful Father, You granted your servant Alvaro, Bishop, the grace to be an exemplary pastor in the service of the Church and a most faithful son and successor to Blessed Josemaria, the founder of Opus Dei. Help me to respond faithfully to the demands of my Christian vocation and teach me to turn every moment and circumstance of my life into an occasion of loving You and serving the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Deign to glorify your servant Alvaro, and through his intercession grant me the favor I ask of You...(Make your request). Amen.

Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory be to the Father.

In conformity with the decrees of Pope Urban VIII, we declare that there is no intention of anticipating in any way the judgement of the Church, and that this prayer is not intended for public use.


Bishop Alvaro del Portillo was born on March 11, 1914, in Madrid, Spain. The third of eight children, he grew up in a deeply Christian family. He held doctorates in engineering, history, and canon law.

In 1935 he joined Opus Dei, which had been founded by Blessed Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer on October 2, 1928. Always faithful to his vocation to Opus Dei, he strove to sanctify his professional work and daily duties, and he carried out a broad apostolate with his classmates and colleagues. Soon he became Blessed Josemaria's strongest support, and remained at his side almost forty years as his closest collaborator.

On June 25, 1944, he was ordained a priest. From then on he dedicated himself exclusively to his pastoral ministry, serving the members of Opus Dei and all souls. In 1946 he moved to Rome with Blessed Josemaria. His tireless service to the Church was seen in his dedication to the tasks the Holy See entrusted to him, including consultor for several dicasteries in the Roman curia, and especially in his active participation in the work of the Second Vatican Council.

On September 15, 1975 he was elected as Blessed Josemaria's first successor. The Holy Father John Paul II appointed him Prelate of Opus Dei on November 28, 1982, when Opus Dei was established as a personal Prelature. He was ordained a bishop by John Paul II on January 6, 1991. All of Bishop del Portillo's work of governing was characterized by fidelity to the founder and his message, while carrying out an untiring pastoral work to extend the apostolates of the Prelature, in the service of the Church.

His dedication to the mission he had received was always based, following the teachings of Blessed Josemaria, on a deep sense of his divine filiation, fruit of the Holy Spirit's action. This led him to seek identification with Christ in a trusting abandonment to the Will of God the Father, constantly nourished by prayer, the Eucharist, and a tender devotion to Mary. His love for the Church was seen in his close communion with the Pope and the bishops. A spiritual portrait of his soul would include his charity toward everyone, his tireless concern for his daughters and his sons in Opus Dei, as well as humility, prudence, fortitude, simplicity and self-forgetfulness, along with kindness, serenity, and good humor which he always spread around him. His ardent zeal to win souls for Christ was reflected in his episcopal motto: Regnare Christum volumus! We want Christ to Reign!

Early in the morning of March 23, 1994, God called his good and faithful servant to Himself. Bishop del Portillo had returned only a few hours before from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where, with deep prayer and piety, he had followed Jesus' footsteps from Nazareth to the Holy Sepulcher. He celebrated his last Mass on earth in the Church of the Cenacle in Jerusalem.

On that same March 23, 1994, the Holy Father John Paul II prayed before Bishop del Portillo's remains, which now lie in the crypt of the Church of the Prelature, Our Lady of Peace-Bruno Buozzi, 75, Rome-constantly accompanied by the prayer and affection of the faithful of Opus Dei and of thousands of others.

----------------------------------------------------------------- Those who obtain favors through the intercession of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo are asked to notify the Office of Vice Postulation of Opus Dei in the United States, 330 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10025.