An idea become reality

«Think how many tens of thousands of people could be reached by this message of peace, and how much good you could do for mankind and society by putting your whole heart and soul into this undertaking! It begins small, but is already big, because you desire to make it become a reality with a big heart, the size of the Christ’s own heart!»

This is what Bishop Álvaro del Portillo stated back in 1993 during the Mass to inaugurate the first Academic Year of the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. Bishop Álvaro’s wish was to fulfil the dream of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei, namely to establish a university clinic in Rome that could offer solutions to the problem of pain and illness, inspired by the Christian spirit of service to humanity.

He encouraged the establishment of the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome and personally oversaw the work of those involved in planning its implementation. To this end, he exhorted doctors, nurses and all the University staff to adopt a particular style of working: «Let the teaching and love of Christ guide and deeply permeate human society, in particular the exercise of the noblest professions of doctor and nurse: without the guidance of this teaching and love, they can easily become cold, blind techniques that, instead of working for the good of mankind, can turn – and there is no shortage of eloquent examples in our day and age - into a reality that is contrary to human life and human dignity».

The students were also at the centre of Bishop Álvaro’s pastoral concerns. University education should foster harmonious growth of the person as a whole, by combining the highest level of culture and science with a sense of responsibility for the ethical implications of their chosen future profession.

Based on these premises, the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome was born in 1993. «Without Bishop Álvaro’s faith and far-sightedness, the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome would not exist today» – we are reminded by Dean Felice Barela – «To us back then it seemed an impossible undertaking. But the idea became reality».