Scalabrini, the “father of migrants” will turn into a saint on October 9 – Swiss Catholic Portal

Scalabrini, the “father of migrants” will turn into a saint on October 9 – Swiss Catholic Portal

Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini (1839-1905) will likely be canonized in Rome on October 9, 2022. The Scalabrian nun Thérèse Mushiya-Mwamba, who lives in Neuchâtel, recollects the pioneering function of the Italian prelate in caring for migrants within the Church and the society.

with and I.MEDIA

Sister Thérèse was delighted to journey from Neuchâtel to Rome, with a number of different individuals, for the canonization of “her” saint. The Congolese was already within the Everlasting Metropolis for the beatification of Scalabrini, in 2002, she explains to Coming into the Missionary Sisters of Saint-Charles Borromeo, the feminine department of the Scalabrians, within the Nineties, she couldn’t miss the consecration of one of many predominant figures who impressed her religion and her vocation.

Touched by Italian emigrants

Initially from Como, in northern Italy, Giovanni Battista Scalabrini grew to become bishop of Piacenza when he was solely 36 years previous. He served his diocese with ardour, particularly the poorest. He was notably affected by the waves of Italian emigration to America. To assist the poorest, he based the Congregation of the Missionaries of Saint-Charles in 1887, then in 1895 the feminine department, the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Saint-Charles Borromée. Current all through the world at the moment, these two congregations come to the help of migrants.

Migration within the Flesh

Sister Mwamba, who arrived in Neuchâtel in 2019 with one other sister who’s now deceased, has put into observe the charism of the Italian bishop in a number of locations around the globe. Born within the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), she studied in Rome and labored with migrants in Italy and France.

Sister Thérèse is aware of what migration is. She skilled this heartbreak in her personal flesh. A primary time in her childhood, when she was expelled together with her household from her native area in an ethnic battle. Following this, many members of his household tried emigration. Some misplaced their lives there. By assembly Scalabrian nuns and monks in Rome, she understood that her place was with these wounded and uprooted individuals.

A precursor

The nun all the time felt accompanied in her mission by the determine of Scalabrini. “I feel God gave me the reward of feeling very near migrants, of having the ability to take heed to them and be empathetic”. The Italian bishop amply deserves, in response to her, to see his holiness acknowledged. “He started to care about migrants when this phenomenon, on the finish of the 19e century, was not thought of essential. Many thought it will solely be short-term. However greater than 100 years after his dedication, it’s clear that these questions are extra topical than ever. “He was actually a precursor,” underlines Sister Thérèse. And he’s rightly referred to as ‘the daddy of migrants’. He made seen the drama of migration within the Church, but in addition in society. As a result of he has all the time additionally inspired Christians to behave on the political stage”.

A constructive view of migration

The individuals of Neuchâtel won’t be the one ones to go to Rome for canonization. Teams from Bern and Basel will likely be on website on 9 October. Already because the Sixties, the Scalabrini missionaries haven’t solely been energetic within the pastoral care of Italian migrants, but in addition help individuals of assorted origins – even from different non secular communities.

Giovanni Battista Scalabrini was an essential persona, instructed Carlo De Stasio (61), in command of the pastoral care of migrants on the Vicariate Common of Zurich/Glaris. “He gave his complete life to migrants.” He remarks that the long run saint is essential for the Church in Switzerland, as a result of the congregation of his missionaries took care of many Italian-speaking missions. Which they nonetheless do at the moment, regardless that some missions have closed.

“In our pastoral, we attempt to categorical the charism of Scalabrini, assures Father De Stasio. On the heart, there’s his esteem for migrants and his constructive imaginative and prescient of the phenomenon of migration”. The prelate who died at the start of the 20e century believed that migrants join cultures. He tried to present them the chance to take a position themselves of their new homeland with their traditions and their skills.

For the devoted who can not make it to the canonization of Giovanni Battista Scalabrini in Rome, a mass will likely be held on Saturday November 19 at 6.30 p.m. within the cathedral of Solothurn. The primary celebrant would be the Bishop of Basel, Msgr. Felix Gmür. (

Pope Francis extends Scalabrini’s legacy
Sister Lina Guzzo has been a nun for 57 years within the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Saint-Charles Borromée, which has 500 sisters current in 27 international locations, on all continents. Vice-postulator of the trigger for the beatification of Msgr. Scalabrini, she offers with migrants in Sicily, after having accompanied migrants in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Albania. She explains to the I.MEDIA company how the one who will turn into a saint conjures up Pope Francis and the Church at the moment.
Would you say that Pope Francis continues the legacy of Blessed Scalabrini?
Lina Guzzo: Bishop Scalabrini’s motto was to deliver migrants the smile of the homeland and the consolation of religion. Pope Francis doesn’t say it in these phrases however applies these identical ideas in every little thing. For instance, this spirit might be seen in its apprehension and concern in regards to the terror of struggle. He solely thinks of all of the poor who should flee or who die.
In 1880, Bishop Scalabrini was struck when he noticed a gaggle of poor emigrants prepared to go away for the Americas within the Milan prepare station. Pope Francis made historical past when on July 8, 2013, within the first 12 months of his preach, he traveled to the port of Lampedusa to go to migrants. On this occasion, I noticed and felt very strongly the determine of Bishop Scalabrini on the station in Milan, who noticed these poor individuals and stated to himself: “Who will defend them? Who will assist them? Who, above all, will assist them to maintain the religion?”
How is your congregation experiencing this specific second?
We wish and really feel that canonization will likely be an excellent second for the Church and an excellent impetus for us, to encourage us to be extra devoted to our charism. We imagine that this second may also be an invite, particularly for younger individuals, to think about a vocation to spiritual life, to think about the overall reward of 1’s life to God with a view to place oneself on the service of struggling humanity. IMEDIA/IC

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