The Opus Dei press office announced that the remains of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, the first successor to St. Josemaria Escriva, will be put on display Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 at the Basilica of St. Eugene in Rome. On June 23, the beatification organizing committee released the schedule of events for the beatification of Bishop del Portillo, which is set for Sept. 27. Although the ceremony will take place in Madrid, commemorative acts will take place in Rome, where the Spanish bishop's remains are interred. Bishop del Portillo lived in the Italian capital from 1946 until his death in 1994. “We are receiving petitions from young people and adults who desire to come to the city of St. Peter for the beatification in order to see the Pope and pray for him and his intentions, and to pray before the remains of the new blessed,” explained the spokeswoman for the events in Rome, Mara Celani. “Many Roman families have expressed their willingness to open their homes to pilgrims coming from Africa, Asia, America and Oceania,” she added. Bishop del Portillo's remains will be moved June 29 from the Church of St. Mary of Peace in Rome to the Basilica of St. Eugene. The committee considered the basilica to be more accessible to the large number of pilgrims expected to attend because of its central location. An exhibit on the life of Bishop del Portillo will be on display outside the basilica beginning on that same day. On Sept. 30, the Pope's vicar general for the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, will celebrate a second Mass later in the afternoon. On Oct. 1, a large number of faithful from the beatification are expected to attend the pope's general audience at St. Peter's Square to show their unity with the Holy Father and to thank him for the beatification. That evening, a youth vigil will take place at the Basilica of St. Eugene. On Oct. 2, eucharistic adoration followed by a blessing with the relic of the new blessed will take place at the basilica. Afterwards, Bishop del Portillo's remains will be re-interred at the Church of St. Mary of Peace. All the ceremonies for the beatification will be streamed online at www.alvarodeportillo.org.
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