Italy – Published: "Letters" of Venerable Francesco Convertini, Salesian missionary

12 February 2018

(ANS - Rome) - On January 20, 2017, Pope Francis acknowledged the virtuous life of Fr Francesco Convertini, SDB, declaring him Venerable and indicating him as a model of Salesian missionary life, example of true inculturation of the Gospel, a teacher of the interior life and exceptional self-denial in a pastoral key, which made of his life an adventure in the Spirit with the apostolic heart of Don Bosco. A year later, and near the memory of his dies natalis (11 February), the publication of his "Letters" (1927-1976) represents a further contribution to know the human and spiritual richness of this Salesian from Puglia, who spent his life for the children and the poor of Bengal.

Thanks to the commitment of the "Pro-Marinelli Association", the qualified and generous work of Sr. Grazia Loparco, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians (native of Locorotondo, like Fr Convertini), of the passionate contribution of Fr Dino Petruzzi, SDB, we have in hand a true gift that confirms how Fr Convertini incarnated the spirituality of childen and the humble to whom God reveals his mysteries and makes them effective instruments of his Grace and his mercy.

The Letters are among the few remaining documents of the Venerable Francesco Convertini; from them transpire that down-to-earth wisdom and healthy realism of life that made him a tireless evangelizer. He spent all his life for this purpose, until the last moments when, by now near death, he found the strength to recommend this or that person.

His Letters are all pervaded by this anxiety. He feels almost obsessed with the duty to bring the good news, talk about Jesus, baptize, open the doors of Paradise to the dying. You cannot imagine Fr Convertini sitting still at a table. His life as a missionary was a continuous journey: by bicycle, on horseback, and most of the times on foot. This walking of his is perhaps the attitude that best portrays the tireless missionary.

The ardor that inflames his heart as an apostle of the Gospel also resounds in his words, said or written: "Once a missionary, always a missionary!"; "Woe if we do not evangelize!"; "For them all of myself, even my bones!"; "Jesus loves you, that's why I love you!"; "You are more precious than the whole world!"; "In all kingdoms, Jesus!"; "May your Kingdom come!"; "Glory to Christ, Jay Jisu!"

From the presentation by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB, Postulator General of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family.


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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