Among the many virtues of Alvaro del Portillo, the Opus Dei Prelate beatified on Saturday, September 27, 2014, we can include generosity and inclusiveness. Reproduced below is the letter Blessed Del Portillo directed to Archbishop Óscar A. Romero in November 1979, as Romero entered the most difficult period of his ministry, and the last months of his life. Our translation follows below.
General PresidentRome. November 9, 1979
Most Rev. Mgr. Oscar A. RomeroArchbishop of San Salvador
Your Excellency/My dear Mr. Archbishop,
Through the Opus Dei Chaplain in your dear country, I have received your affectionate letter recalling the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the fundation of Opus Dei.
I wish to answer immediately to thank you for that expression of affection, and for joining our thanksgiving to the Lord for all the benefits he has bestowed upon His Work in this first fifty years of its existence.
I know that the partners and associates of Opus Dei--there as everywhere, thanks be to Go--work with commitment and are motivated only by the desire to serve the Church. I am aware of the fondness they have for you and of the fidelity with which they live the Spirit of the Work, which leads us to echo the instructions of the Reverend Ordinary in all the dioceses in which we work and to direct the carriage--as our Founder, of holy memory, used to say--in the same direction as the diocesan prelate.
I beg you to continue to pray for our apostolic work throughout the world. For my own part, I assure you that I will commend you daily during Holy Mass, praying for you and for your labor on behalf of souls which you carry out.
Thanking you again for your letter I remain yours truly,
Devoted in the Lord
Alvaro del Portillo
Romero expressed his gratitude for Bishop del Portillo’s letter in his December 23, 1979 sermon, delivered three months before his assassination.