Blessed Álvaro del Portillo
Successor of Saint Josemaría (1975-1994)
In 1975, after the death of the founder, del Portillo was elected president general of Opus Dei. In 1982, he completed the legal process by which Opus Dei was formally recognized as a Personal Prelature of the Catholic Church. Another task which he carried out was that of the canonization process of the founder. He also published two books about Saint Josemaría. He continued directing the expansion of Opus Dei to new countries as well as carrying out pastoral trips throughout Europe and many countries in America, Asia and Africa where centers of Opus Dei had previously been established.
He succeeded St. Josemaría as Chancellor of the University of Navarre and the University of Piura. Between 1975 and 1994 he promoted the creation of other universities such as the Universidad Panamericana (Mexico,1978) , the Universidad de la Sabana (Colombia,1979) , the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce (Rome, 1984) , the University of Los Andes (Chile,1989) and the Austral University (Argentina,1991).
He participated as a Synod Father at the 1985 Extraordinary Synod. In 1991 he was ordained a bishop. He died in Rome on 23 March, 1994. Pope John Paul II prayed before his remains on the day of his death. In June 2012, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints gave him the title of "Venerable", and in September, 2014, he was beatified in Madrid.