RMG – Servant of God Msgr. Giuseppe Cognata: a man who lived in God’s presence

27 July 2022

(ANS - Rome) – 22 July 2022 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of the Servant of God Msgr. Giuseppe Cognata, SDB, who died in 1972 in Pellaro (Reggio Calabria, Italy), the place where the Congregation of the Salesian Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart had begun. Several celebrations and events took place in Pellaro di Reggio Calabria and in Bova.

On the same day, at the parish church Santa Maria del Lume in Pellaro, the Eucharist was celebrated, presided over by Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, postulator of the Cause of Beatification, who recalled the last words spoken by Bishop Cognata. Among them was the final entrustment to his Oblates: "Well then, love each other, be united, love one another my children; if love, union reigns among you, you can work and do much good for souls. You Oblates, whose communities are made up of a few members, must love each other very much! Love each other very much, live for each other with great charity. I am thinking of you and am always close to you."

This was followed by an evening of music and dance by the associations of Pellaro, an intense moment of aggregation and a sign of hope in the name of Bishop Cognata. One of the features, the new musical show "The Holiness of Sweetness," by the "Charmonie Vocal Group" of Tivoli, premiered on the evening of the 23rd. Written and set to music by Rita Gentili, Sara and Silvia Narzisi, with orchestrations by Giovanni Proietti Modi and with the set design conceived by Pierluigi Pastori and produced by "LabOratorio artistico Don Bosco," the show exalts the charisma, faith and heroic witness of Msgr. Giuseppe Cognata.

On Sunday, July 24, the celebration took place in Bova, the seat of Msgr. Cognata's diocese. The community's participation was festive, with Mayor Santo Casile and Fr. Leone Stelitano, parish administrator, and the presence of numerous Salesian Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart, led by Mother General, Sister Graziella Benghini, was significant. On the way to the Co-Cathedral of Mary Most Holy of Isodia, Msgr. Fortunato Morrone, Metropolitan Archbishop of Reggio Calabria-Bova, blessed a plaque dedicating the street leading up to the Co-Cathedral to Msgr. Giuseppe Cognata. The street is a symbol of Msgr. Cognata's presence among his people and at the same time the people's esteem, closeness, and affection for the pastor and apostle to needy populations.

Speaking at different times during the celebration, Msgr. Morrone highlighted how Bishop Cognata's ordeal was not the result of God's will, but of the will of men, who sometimes work evil and make people suffer; God does not want suffering and sacrifice, but love and mercy. Therefore, he emphasized Msgr. Cognata's mission as the founder of a new charism in the Church and in light of the Word of God presented Msgr. Cognata as a man of prayer who lived in the presence of God: "Msgr. Cognata lived by listening to the Spirit, allowing himself to be enlightened by Jesus Christ, and like Abraham, he placed himself within history, between God and the People, to whom he had been placed to guide. As Abraham was a friend of God... Let us ask him to intercede for us, that we may live as he did, who loved Jesus infinitely."


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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