On October 9 Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini will be proclaimed a saint. Today, in St. Peter’s Basilica during the Ordinary Consistory, Pope Francis announced the date on which the Bishop of Piacenza, founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo and the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo Scalabrinians and inspirer of the Scalabrini Secular Missionaries, will be canonized.
Born in Fino Mornasco in the province of Como in 1839, Scalabrini is still today a gift to the Church and humanity: a man in love with God and able to recognize the face of Jesus in the least of society. Deeply moved by the drama of so many Italians forced to emigrate to the United States and South America in the late 1800s, he did not remain indifferent. He gathered information, raised awareness in society and sent his missionaries and missionary sisters around the world to help and support migrants in ports, on ships and upon arrival in new countries. He is considered for this a father to all migrants and refugees.
More than a century after his death, his legacy still bears fruit: present in 39 countries, there are thousands of Scalabrinian religious and lay people following in his footsteps and serving in parishes, houses for migrants, schools, orphanages, hospitals, ecclesial bodies in conferences of bishops and dioceses, study centers, ports and borders around the world.
“Scalabrini was a bishop who dedicated himself completely to ministry in his diocese, but he also knew how to look beyond, to those who were forced to leave their homeland,” comments Father Leonir Chiarello, CS, Superior General of the Missionaries of St. Charles. “He gave a concrete response to the phenomenon of migration, involving the Church, the government, society and calling everyone to an awareness. He fought what the Holy Father today calls ‘the culture of indifference and discard.’ By proclaiming him a saint, Pope Francis invites us to have his gaze of welcome and love toward all.”
A bishop who made himself “neighbor to neighbor”; “a man of action, a spiritual man, passionate, dynamic, strong in an incarnated spirituality: he continually contemplates the Son of God who became man to reveal the Father’s love and to return renewed humanity to Him,” explains Sister Neusa de Fatima Mariano, Superior General of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo Scalabrinians: “The canonization of our founder motivates us to embark on a path of renewal of our Scalabrinian consecrated life, in the call to the centrality of Jesus Christ and in the renewed commitment to mission with and for migrants and refugees.”
“This news made us very happy for the whole Church and for all migrants,” comments Regina Widmann, general director of the Scalabrinian Secular Missionaries. “His prophetic vision will become better known, that is, the conviction that precisely in the hard ground of emigration a treasure is hidden: the possibility that different and far away peoples may find themselves close and recognize themselves as part of the one human family.”
SAVE THE DATE!!!! OCTOBER 9, 2022 in Rome, John Baptist Scalabrini will become a saint!
“...migrants, refugees, excluded, marginalized, they now have a father, a lawyer.
Present, future, in heaven, on earth, in the universal Church, in the society...”
("Ci sei", Music of the Scalabrini Band) LISTEN "Ci sei"
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