June 1, 2017: Blessed Scalabrini’s Feast

An excerpt from the message of Father Gazzola, general superior of the Scalabrinian congregation, for the Founder’s anniversary

«On June first we celebrate Blessed Scalabrini’s feast. In other words, using the language of the liturgy, we do memory of him. To do memory is the very foundation upon which each culture is based. For Christians, however, it acquires a particular meaning, it becomes a Eucharistic sign which make us contemporaries with the person we do memory of : “do this in memory of me“.

After 112 years we ask ourselves: what encounter, what knowledge, what experience have we had of Blessed Scalabrini, in order to celebrate his memory today? And, how do we live today such a dimension of encounter, knowledge and experience, if doing memory means to be contemporary with the person of whom we want to celebrate not jus a simple remembrance?».

Encounter, knowledge, experience

«Reviving the encounter. There is a chain of personal relationships that leads us until this man of whom we do memory. There is also a family that has shaped around him and has reached me.

Deepening the knowledge. If it is true that love does not come only from knowledge, in order to be in communion with the loved person, to find the traces of the family originated and inspired by him, to be able to pass on to the people we meet the gifts we have received, knowledge is certainly necessary.

Putting our own life experience into play. Knowledge by itself may lead us to see the other, even the Other – with capital O – meaning God, just as an imaginary support for our desires and might remain just into the theory’s abstraction. Our knowledge of the Founder should go together with the decision of making of our own life an experience of service to others, especially to those, the migrants, for whom Scalabrini gave his life without limits. The Scalabrinians are called to be open and flexible to move on, in order to be faithful to the newness to which the ever new migration’s world continues to challenge us».

A special celebration

«This year, the first of June celebration, leads us to look forward, in a very special way, to the next month of November, the month we often call the Scalabrinian Month per antonomasia. In November, in fact, besides remembering St. Charles (November 4th), our Patron Saint, we will be called to thank the Lord for the 20th anniversary of Scalabrini’s Beatification (November 9th) and for the 130th anniversary of Foundation of our Religious Family (November 28th).

They are all occasions, first of all, to express our deep gratitude to God for having sown during so many years of scalabrinian history so many seeds of good through our work in the Church, especially in favor of migrants, refugees, displaced people and seafarers. Our petition to the Lord, to give our Family the grace to have our Founder being proclaimed as a Saint, must go together with an increase of our love and devotion for him».

Padre Alessandro Gazzola, Superior General