Italy – Cause of Msgr. Cognata, Mother Benghini: "The Lord has illuminated the darkness of error giving splendor to the truth"

23 April 2020

(ANS - Tivoli) - Mother Graziella Benghini, Superior General of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart, after the communication that Pope Francis has given consent to the opening of the Cause of Beatification of Msgr. Giuseppe Cognata, SDB, (1885-1972) Bishop of Bova and Founder of their Congregation, gave this interview.

You have been waiting for this day for a long time. What does the start of the Founder's Cause for Beatification represent?

When I received the long-awaited and much hoped for news, so many sentiments, emotions and faces of sisters arose inside me, in these long years offered, prayed and suffered for this day to come. I felt only one word in my heart: "thank you". Thanks to the Lord who illuminated the darkness of error giving splendor to the truth; thanks to the Holy Father for his courage in recognizing the innocence of Msgr. Cognata, giving a transparent sign of justice and respect. This time I felt tears of joy flow.

Which aspect of the Salesian charism did Msgr. Cognata incarnate and bear witness to with greater force?

For each Oblate, it is a matter of rewriting a new page with the ink of an ever greater generosity in living the charisma of the Oblation, with the ink of charity so dear to the Founder.

What is the current ecclesial relevance of the evangelical witness of Msgr. Cognata?

I believe it is that of absolute trust in the acceptance of what the Lord has permitted. It is that inner docility that welcomes being associated with redemptive work by embracing the Cross as a privilege, to resemble the Master. Cross that also becomes the possibility of joyful gift and inner serenity, even in trial.

This long-awaited recognition came in the Easter season and in a world hit by the coronavirus epidemic. What reflections do these circumstances inspire?

Providence has ordered that his innocence be recognized in a time of history not only of a pandemic, but also of the difficulty of the Church for the various shadows that do not always make it transparent. The testimony of Msgr. Cognata can be, for everyone, an example of fidelity and integrity, of humility, of silence and of obedience, even to the point of remaining serene even in the face of slanders and lies, maintaining trust in the Lord who knows the truth, knowing how to wait for the times of God.

Christ redeemed us by freeing us from the fear of being enslaved by the mortal enemy and reassuring humanity that we are not alone and we must not let ourselves be suffocated by mistrust, because the colors of the rainbow will return to shine, just as the splendid sun returned in the story of our Founder.

These circumstances also inspire me with feelings of trust in the Church which, although with slow steps, has managed to have the truth emerge; and that the Lord puts to the test, but never abandons His children.

This time, which apparently forces us to stand still, is sprouting new fruits, perhaps forgotten or neglected: silence, more intense prayer, family and community relationships, awareness of being very fragile and the need to rediscover one's own essentiality as creatures and children. 


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.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".