Lebanon - Farewell to Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, SDB

10 January 2019

(ANS - Al Fidar) - "A man so pure, sweet, profound as Monsignor Armando is something that cannot be found". With these words, a friend of Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, Salesian bishop emeritus of the Latins in Syria, presented his condolences in learning the news of the Monsignor's death. Bishop Bortolaso concluded his earthly journey on January 8, at the age of 92.

A journey that had begun in Castagnero, province of Vicenza, in 1926, and which had embraced the lands of the Middle East since the years of Salesian formation. After 70 years spent in the region, his pilgrimage ended in Lebanon, in the Salesian community, where he chose to settle at the end of his decennial episcopal service (from 1992 to 2002) as an apostolic vicar of Aleppo.

Having arrived in the Middle East in 1949 as a cleric, he began his service in Istanbul, Turkey. Ordained a priest in Jerusalem in 1953, he exercised his Salesian mission in various houses in the Holy Land, but above all in Aleppo, where he was repeatedly director and where he was nominated as a bishop.

He was also strongly tied to the Focolarini movement, indeed, as bishop, he played a role of animation among the bishops who were friends of the movement, both at local, regional, international and also ecumenical levels (with Orthodox and Protestant bishops), in full light of his Salesian identity, which became him to affirm, making himself esteemed and loved by all for his humility, meekness, goodness, simplicity, delicacy and profound spirituality.

As a bishop in Syria, he also won the friendship of Muslim religious leaders, with whom he fostered and maintained a relationship. The mourning for his loss is widespread.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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