Italy – Peace march in footsteps of Venerable Francesco Convertini

09 February 2021

(ANS - Cisternino) - A special edition has been thought of so as not to renounce the 16th March for Peace, Solidarity and Fraternal Care that takes place every year in the birthplace of Venerable Francesco Convertini, a Salesian missionary in India, promoted by the Association Pro-Marinelli “Padre Francesco Convertini”. The civil and ecclesial communities of Locorotondo and Cisternino (Puglia) met together for two appointments: Saturday 6 February, in Cisternino, for a prayer vigil; and on Sunday 7, in Locorotondo, with Mass presided over by the Delegate for Youth Ministry of the Salesian Province of Southern Italy (IME), Fr Gianpaolo Roma, followed by a moment of youth animation.

In his homily, Fr Roma, inspired by the Gospel passage where Jesus, having entered the house of Peter, takes his mother-in-law sick from fever by the hand and lifts her up, restoring her health and the joy of life, recalled the testimony of Fr Convertini who, for his ability to know how to meet people always found the doors open to be welcomed, not only in the homes of Christians, but also of Hindus and Muslims. He then exhorted us to take care of the other in order to be builders of peace in the concreteness of life.

The moment of animation was very lively which, in the succession of the scenes, saw the involvement of various young people. As choreography, the construction of a large oak, symbol of the life of Fr Convertini who, with solid roots, leafy branches and flowers of goodness, was able to produce fruits of peace and love. A meaningful novelty: the performance of the hymn "Un raggio di sole - A ray of sunshine", dedicated to Venerable Convertini, set to music by maestro Donato Semeraro and with a text by Sister Melisa; the presentation of the cartoon "Metti amore - Put love", the work of cartoonist Mario Lisi, who outlined the adventure of the Salesian missionary, the last of the last with a life dedicated to the poor, with an ecumenical spirit and universal brotherhood. This is an initiative aimed above all at children and young people, who by coloring Fr Convertini's life, can learn to paint their own with the colors of love, to face the future with all the risks and challenges that life entails, but also with the potential and opportunities it offers. And there was no shortage of choreographies, poster awards, banners, drawings with messages of peace and solidarity.

In a video-recorded message, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, recalled Fr Convertini as a witness of hope: in difficult times and moments, such as the loss of parents, when he was still a child, the life in the fields, the dramatic experience of the war with imprisonment and the leukemia that struck him, the fatigue in his studies, the trials of missionary life, the various diseases ... Fr Convertini never surrendered to mistrust or resignation, but moved by hope, which came from his strong faith and from entrusting himself to Mary Immaculate-Help of Christians, he knew how to make his life blossom by putting love and donating love.


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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