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First audience granted by Pope Paul VI to Opus Dei founder St Josemaria
January 24, 1964, the Holy Father Paul VI received the Founder of Opus Dei in a private audience. When Msgr Escriva entered the room he started to kneel down to greet the Pope, as the current protocol required. But Pope Paul would not let him: he came forward and, opening wide his arms, gave him an affectionate welcoming embrace.
Almost at the end of the audience, Msgr. Escriva told the Pope that Don Alvaro del Portillo was waiting for him outside. Pope Paul instantly asked for him to be shown in, and when he entered the room, said to him: “Don Alvaro – we’ve known each other for nearly twenty years!”
“Only eighteen, Your Holiness,” replied Don Alvaro.
“In that time I’ve become old,” said the Pope.
“Oh, no, Your Holiness: you’ve become Peter!”
(Ana Sastre, Tiempo de Caminar, p. 483)