Novena Mass for Blessed Alvaro del Portillo

We all yearn for serenity, a state of calmness that allows us to face life’s trials with clarity and peace of heart. Through the intercession of the first prelate of Opus Dei, Blessed Alvaro del Portillo, we can ask the Lord God for answer to our prayers, requests, and struggles.

We shall keep your intentions in mind during the Novena Masses for Blessed Alvaro from May 4 -11, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at CITE Chapel (except Sunday).

A Holy Mass in honor of Blessed Alvaro will be celebrated on May 12 at Cebu Archdiocesan Shrine of Pedro Calungsod at 10:00 a.m.


Blessed Alvaro del Portillo was born in Madrid on March 11, 1914. He studied engineering and began working professionally in that field. To his doctorate in engineering, he later added doctorates in history
and canon law. In 1935, Alvaro joined Opus Dei, which had been founded by St. Josemaría Escrivá in 1928. He soon became St. Josemaría’s strongest support, which he remained for almost forty years.

On June 25, 1944, Blessed Alvaro was ordained as one of the first three priests of Opus Dei. In 1946 he moved to Rome with St. Josemaría, where he served on Opus Dei’s General Council until 1975.

During Blessed Alvaro’s years in Rome, the Holy See entrusted to him a number of tasks as consultor to several congregations and councils.

On September 15, 1975, he was elected as St. Josemaría’s first successor. When Opus Dei was established as a personal prelature on November 28, 1982, Pope St. John Paul II appointed him Prelate of Opus Dei, and ordained him as a bishop on January 6, 1991.


alvaroBlessed Alvaro was responsible for the establishment of the prelature in 20 new countries, particulary in the developing world to which he traveled extensively, including the Philippines. He was open to wide range of solutions, from additional corporate works entrusted to Opus Dei to encouraging individuals to take part in civic organizations in the less developed countries.

When Bishop Alvaro visited Cebu in 1987, he was visibly moved by the sight of families living in the most dehumanizing conditions in the slum areas in Cebu. During a get-together with thousands of those in contact with Opus Dei, he prodded them to do something to uplift the conditions of the poor.

When he returned to Rome, he asked two specialists in Italian organizations of international cooperation to study the possibility of helping to start a technical school for out-of-school youth in Cebu.

Three years later, in 1990, the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE) began operations. Its mission was to offer technical training, and values formation to young people and families with financial and social difficulties, so as to be a positive influence in many communities in the Visayas and Mindanao.

On March 23, 1994, God called him to Himself. Bishop del Portillo had just returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. His remains now lie in the crypt of the Church of the Prelature, Our Lady of Peace at Bruno Buozzi 75, Rome. He was beatified on September 27, 2014. (With additional texts from Bernardo M. Villegas, “A New Patron for the Poor”. 2 May 2018 and

For a copy of Blessed Alvaro’s Novena for Serenity, please visit