Italy – Servant of God Mons. Cognata in the wake of Saint Francis de Sales and Don Bosco

26 April 2022

(ANS - Trapani) - From April 22 to 25, 2022, the National Convention of "ALOS", the Lay Association associated with the Congregation of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart (SOSC - IX group of the Salesian Family) was held in Trapani. The conference entitled "The Servant of God Monsignor Giuseppe Cognata. A light of hope for us today", narrated the story and the message of the Salesian Bishop, founder of the SOSC, whose 50th anniversary of death falls this year.

On Saturday, April 23, at the Church of the Jesuit College, after the greeting of the SOSC Superior General, Mother Graziella Benghini, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator of the Cause of Beatification of Bishop Cognata, gave a talk entitled: "Nothing through constraint, all through love: The Servant of God Bishop Cognata in the wake of St. Francis de Sales". The speaker highlighted how Msgr. Cognata was also inspired by the holy bishop doctor of the Church in his life as a Salesian, in his episcopal ministry, and in the foundation of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart and the Zelatrici. Speaking of the Bishop of Geneva, Bishop Cognata said: “May the smile of gentleness shine in your actions, the Salesian virtue that Saint Francis learned directly from the gentle and humble Heart of the divine Master.”

In the afternoon, Fr Gaetano Maria Saccà developed the theme “Being Laity in the Church today: Actuality of the charism of the Servant of God Mons. Giuseppe Cognata”.

In the evening, the "Spe Salvi" choir, directed by Maestro Giacomo D'Angel and Maestro Lorenzo Venza at the organ, performed the polyphonic concert "Even the mules have wings". The musical pieces were introduced with references to the life and writings of Monsignor Cognata and made affecting and powerfully involving by the lighting designer Salvatore Altese.

Sunday, April 24 was dedicated to a pilgrimage to Agrigento, the birthplace of the Servant of God, with a solemn Eucharistic celebration in the majestic Cathedral where the Salesian bishop was baptized on October 18, 1885; and a visit to his birthplace, in the evocative setting of the Valley of the Temples.

The concluding day of April 25 saw the sharing of the resonances and proposals of the participants, who emphasized: the value of being, as the founder said, "crumbs" in the daily routine of life; Christians committed to the Salesian Oblate spirit, bearing witness even in trials to the renewing power of the Gospel; the need to meet and confront each other; living with simplicity and love even in difficult situations, giving priority to the weak and fragile. In her concluding remarks, Mother Benghini invited everyone, consecrated and laity, to grow together in charismatic belonging to the spirit of the founder; to live this belonging faithfully with a spirit of sacrifice and gratuity; to form themselves as Christians committed to ecclesial and social life with a spirit of fraternal communion.

Finally, in the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, there was a Mass presided over by Msgr. Pietro Maria Fragnelli, Bishop of Trapani, who in his homily recalled the importance that the figure and work of Msgr. Giuseppe also boasts in the city and the diocese of Trapani, as he founded and directed the first Salesian work, erected the church dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, and in 1936 sent therein the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart, who still today have a significant presence in the territory and in the life of the local Church.

The event, made possible thanks to numerous people and institutions, and coordinated by Sister Caterina Quattrone, marked a moment of grace and departure for the ALOS Association, for the Congregation of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart, and for many people who look to Msgr. Cognata as an intercessor and an example of evangelical fortitude in the difficult hours of life, accepting his life's teaching: "Enlighten with faith everything you do and everything that happens to you and all the people you deal with: everything and everyone in the light and love of Jesus!"


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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