Pope Francis will celebrate a Holy Mass on October 11, the liturgical memorial of St. John XXIII, on the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. This will be, without doubt, the occasion to renew the impetus for the renewal of the Church, which was achieved only a few decades ago thanks to the will of a long-suffering Pope, who was not afraid to launch a general mobilization that at the time could only have seemed revolutionary: Giovanni XXIII.
It is a bit like the same reforming dynamism that Pope Francis also impressed on the Church at the end of his election, even though he was faithful to the requests that were made before the vow in Cappella Sistina by the general congregations of the cardinals.
Since his appearance in the loggia of Piazza San Pietro, the mission of the Pope "who came almost from the end of the world" has been enhanced by so many little tassels that have taken on the main role of each of his battles, the joy of evangelization, the attention to the last ones, the interreligious dialogue, the denunciation of the many contradictions of our time and the convocation of the whole ecclesial community in a permanent "synodal" state.
Innestato sulle radici del passato
Francesco has always said that it is not important to "occupy spaces" but to "advance processes", something like the dynamic that has characterized the work of the Second Vatican Council for three years. Not all of the processes that have been carried out have been completed, and in fact, after 60 years, there are probably several things that today can still seem to be at the forefront, if they are interpreted in the right light and with the right discernment.
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Council's journey will probably allow the Pontiff to assimilate the ardor of that time and to relive the solitude of that Council's opening, which was undoubtedly a sign of a vitality still present and in line with the preceding history,
No conciliar initiative in the Church has ever tried to cancel the past; however, it is always based on those solid roots that have allowed Christ to continue to be present in the centuries.
Pope John XXIII himself said so on October 11, 1962: "After almost twenty centuries, the most serious situations and problems of humanity have not changed, because Christ always occupies the central position in history and in life. Men either adore him and his Church, and so enjoy the light, the good, the good order and the goodness of peace; or they live without him or they fight against him and deliberately remain outside the Church, and so there is confusion between them, reciprocal relationships become difficult, even the danger of bloody wars."How much loneliness in those words, how much truth and how much correspondence with the same turmoil that we are living today, bloodshed warfare comprese. Surely it will come back with the mind and heart to that unity of minds that is still alive sixty years later. There is another aspect that today rejoices in the reading of the opening speech of the Council, and it is that of the numerous "annunciators of fate" who "in the current conditions of human society" see only "rocks and problems", behaving "as if they had nothing to impart from history".
In a state of perpetual mission
But, as Pope Roncalli has already said, we must rediscover "the mysterious designs of the Divine Providence"As Pope Francis said today, discern what the Holy Spirit wants to communicate to us for our own good and that of the Church.
It is a bit like what has long been tried to do through the instrument of the Synod of the Vescovii, which among other things is a concrete fruit of the Second Vatican Council, and that the current Pope considers fundamental and indispensable to design a Church and a community of faith that is in a perennial state of mission and that knows how to spread with fecundity the light and the beauty of the Gospel, showing and witnessing the living presence of the Signore Gesù Cristo. And then we will see the Giubilee of Hope ....
Due nuovi santi per la Chiesa di oggi
As announced in the last Concistoro of August, on October 9 in Piazza San Pietro will be canonized by Pope Francis two figures born in the eighteenth century, which are occupied by the essential peripheries of that time, and that to tell the truth are not ever left in the life of mankind. I am two Italians, Giovanni Battista Scalabrini and Artemide Zatti.
The first was a priest of Piacenza and founder of the Congregations of the Missionaries and Scalabrinians, the Missionaries of San Carlo, with the mission to serve the emigrants.
It was Pope Francis himself who authorized last May the dispensation of the second miracle for her canonization.
His pastoral work has been judged by many as a "good example".prophecy of a Church close to the people and their concrete problems". There are indelible traces that his episcopal ministry, seen in direct contact with the people, has effectively left his faithful. Among other things, he reformed the diocesan life, he applied himself to his priestly service with constant solicitude for the teaching of Christian doctrine and charity work for the most needy.
The impulse to serve the emigrants came when, at the end of the century, it became known that almost 9 million Italians had left the country for Brazil, Argentina and then for the United States. But their request for these refugees was not only material, but also pastoral: they believed, in fact, that many emigrants had lost their faith because of their cultural background. From there was born the idea of the Missionary Congregation, which today has three institutions: the religious, the religious and the secular.
Compassion and mercy
The second to become a saint was Artemide Zatti, a Salesian coadjutor who worked mainly for the sick in Argentina, emigrating with his parents from Emilia Romagna. He wanted to become a priest, but he continued to work in the infermiere and he associated himself with the suffering of his peasants, arriving to fight also the tuberculosis, and then he was saved thanks to the intercession of Maria Ausiliatrice.
Pierluigi Cameroni, the postulator general of the Salesians, has often been described as "the most important Salesian".A living sign of God's compassion and mercy towards the wicked"And also his vocation as a Salesian coadjutor has fully characterized him: he has professed the values of poverty, chastity and obedience as a religious, sharing also the community life. he has remained a layman for all purposes.
"His greatness was not in his acceptance, but in choosing the project that God had for him." - it has continued the postulatore - "and in the evangelical radicalism with which he has launched himself to follow Christ in the spirit of Don Bosco, that is to say, without ever losing the joy and the surprise that comes from the encounter with the Lord."In the Concistoro with which he announced the canonization, Pope Francis described them as "examples of life and christian sanctity", per proporli a tutta la Chiesa".especially in view of the situation of our times". It is not a case that the Prefetto del Dicastero delle Cause dei Santi has evidenced as his testimony".reporti l'attenzione dei credenti in Cristo sulla questione dei migranti"that, as the Pope has repeatedly affirmed, "if they are integrated, they can help to breathe the air of a diversity that governs unity".