EUROPE/ITALY – Scalabrini: “The image of a saint who knew how to understand and help, can maintain the hope of migrants and refugees”

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EUROPE/ITALY Scalabrini – “The image of a saint, who knew how to understand the needs of others, can be used to keep hope alive for migrants and refugees”

Rome (Agenzia Fides) – World Refugee Day is a United Nations holiday that is observed on June 20. It commemorates the 1951 adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. According to the UNHCR, this year’s refugee population will exceed 100 million. More people and families are being forced to leave their country due to wars, 34 ongoing conflicts across the continents, human trafficking, hunger, and other exploitation. The State policy was not able to deal with this phenomenon. This was evident in Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini (1839-1905), Bishop of Piacenza and the inspiration of Secular Missionaries Scalabrini. He was both the founder of Missionaries of Saint Charles Borromeo, as well as the inspiration of Secular Missionaries Scalabrini. They all share the specific mission of pastoral care of migrants. For his dedication to migrants who fled Italy in search of better lives and fortune, Monsignor Scalabrini is known as the “Apostle of migrants” and the “Father of migrants”. His spiritual children continue this mission today in every latitude. “Scalabrini, a model for the whole world, was and is still a beacon of hope in a world divided by incomprehensible walls. His passion for migrants is key to understanding the contemporary world which has its foundations in the message of Christ” – reaffirmed the Superiors at the three Scalabrinian institutes in a joint Letter for the Scalabrinian Year. The Holy Father Francis endorsed the favorable opinion of cardinals, bishops, and others for the canonization of Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini’s Causes of Saints during his May 21 conversation with Cardinal Marcello, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The date will be determined at a future Consistory. “The proclamation of the holiness by Pope Francis of Monsignor Scalabrini is a joyous occasion for us,” Agenzia Fides Fr. says. Leonir Chiarello CS Superior General of Missionaries of Saint Charles. Also known as Scalabrinians, Leonir Chiarello, CS: “For us, his missions, the Founder is always been a saint. We first became acquainted with him as children when we read his biography. We had more time during our novitiate to read his writings and think about his thoughts. We got to know him as missionaries through work in the field. We tried to put into practice his ideas and principles about how to help migrants. Scalabrini has been a saint in our experience.

What importance do YOU give to the Pope’s choice of a pope?

“With this recognition the Holy Father points to the Church the figure a Bishop who knew how not only to dedicate himself entirely his ministry within the diocese but also to look out, towards the needs and aspirations of those who have fled their homeland in search of hope. With Pius X the Church has made Scalabrini’s concern for migrants its own. But with this canonization, the Holy Father wants the Church to emphasize even more the timeliness this pastoral concern, which he has repeatedly expressed.

What can migrants look forward to from this canonization

“We hope that Scalabrini’s canonization will make a difference to refugees and migrants. We are witnessing a dramatic exodus of people, sometimes forced by violence. If you are feeling hopeless, the image of a saint can help you to see the light. Scalabrini is declared a saint by the Pope. He tells migrants to turn towards him and trust his intercession, because he understands them and can be close to them. This is just like how he understood and was close with the Italians who emigrated in 19th century Italy.

Can canonization be applied to heads of government and state?

“The Pope also sends out a message to States, civil and political community, especially those in more developed countries but with narrower views and are unable to welcome the other, as they see them as a threat and not as a resource. The Pope is praising Saint Scalabrini who predicted many years ago that immigration would be a key force in the world’s transformation and could make it the homeland for all.

And to his spiritual children?

“Canonization also makes a distinction for us, the Scalabrinian Missionaries because it makes us more responsible in trying his vision and above all listening to his heart. We try, like him to give ourselves completely to our mission and become companions of those who have been running or elsewhere. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 20/6/2022)



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