Saint Josemaría Escrivá
The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross is a direct result of Saint Josemaría Escrivá’s vision to establish in Rome a center of university studies that would become an center of research and overall formation in the ecclesiastical sciences. St. Josemaria, the founder of Opus Dei, envisioned this future university contributing in a profound way to enhancing the evangelical mission of the Church throughout the world.
Before beginning this ambitious project, he had to wait for the opportune time. Through prayer and constant work, he laid the foundations for the university, providing the formation that was necessary for the preparation of professors suitable for the highest academic levels.
Blessed Álvaro del Portillo
Saint Josemaría Escrivá's first successor, the Blessed Álvaro del Portillo, brought the saint’s vision to life by obtaining the necessary approval from the Holy See, commencing the first academic year in 1984-1985.
In his desire to create a new university whose characteristics were consistent with Escrivá's vision, Bishop del Portillo was convinced that “the essence of the university is found in its enthusiasm for the truth, united in the common desire of the professors and students to continue always to learn." To further imbue the university with Saint Josemaría’s vision, Bishop del Portillo stressed what he had first learned from the saint, “In the process of learning just one thing, we discover many other truths which we never knew existed, and which enliven us to continue the work without ever saying 'enough!'"