Alvaro del Portillo

The Power of Humility

By: Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky

Format: A6 Booklet

Dimensions: 10.5cm by 14.8cm

ISBN : 9781860829024

Number of Pages: 64

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Publication Date: 02 Jan 2014

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Product Code: B758


The extraordinary life of a man who went from being a successful engineer to the priesthood and a ministry spent at the centre of some of the most momentous Church events of the twentieth century. He was present at Vatican II as a theological expert and on the death of St Josemaría Escrivá became the prelate of Opus Dei. He set a wonderful example of faithfulness to the Church combined with openness and humility.

Ethel Tolansky is former Head of French at the University of Westminster. Her research interests are Occupied France and German resistance to Hitler. Helena Scott works as research assistant at the University of Westminster and as a freelance translator.

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Alvaro Del Portillo (1914-1994), now Blessed Alvaro Del Portillo after his recent beatification,was the second prelate of Opus Dei. He succeeded his good friend, the founder St. Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975), a patron of those with diabetes. At 64 pages, this little booklet offers a short but thorough introduction to Blessed Portillo. I was drawn to the book when I saw the title "The Power of Humility". Humility is the foundation of sanctity. What can prevent God from making you a saint if you're humble? Unfortunately, humility often comes through humiliation which rubs us poor prideful sinners the wrong way. If I have one quibble with the booklet it's that there isn't more of Blessed Alvaro's thought featured. Here's some that is: "If we want to find more time to work, we need a greater consciousness of God's presence. Then we will work more peacefully and more intensely, and with a greater desire to do things well. The result is that our time multiplies, because we do things better, with more zest, and keener to get them right. Therefore we have fewer distractions and we waste less time (pp. 19, 20)." I'm not a member of Opus Dei, but don't be scared away from them by nonsense like "The DaVinci Code" movies. Opus Dei teaches the laity to take the call to holiness seriously, as the Second Vatican Council also does.