Italy – Wisdom of major Salesians: Fr di Mauro and Fr Voci

18 June 2019

(ANS - Rome) - "I imagine the elderly as the permanent chorus of an important spiritual sanctuary, in which prayers of supplication and songs of praise support the entire community that works and fights in the field of life." These are words of Pope Francis, a Pope who frequently invites us to pay attention to the elderly, aware that they know how to offer a glimpse into life and offer inestimable wisdom. Fr Rodolfo di Mauro, Sicilian, 101 years old, and Fr Pasquale Voci, a Calabrian, neo- centenarian, are two "major" Salesians who are highly esteemed and appreciated by their young confreres.

Fr di Mauro, born 16 May 1918 in Militello, spent his life serving the charism of Don Bosco in his native Sicily. He is the historical memory of the "Salette" house of Catania and in his life he has had to face world wars, poverty, the arrogance of the mafia ... He learned to adapt continuously, to find the good in every possible opportunity, not to fear. And he can afford to say: "I have to thank the Lord for what I did. I went from oil lamps to the digital age ... I at the 'Salette' gave and received much and I learned not to be afraid of anything, not even death."

Fr Voci was born on 10 June 1919 in Sant’Andrea Jonio, and devoted much of his life to school teaching. Today he resides in Salerno, a Province of Southern Italy (IME), and with the tenacity that distinguishes him, he emphasizes: "The priest to carry out his mission with dignity must be humble, always in search of the three Truths: Humanities, Biblical and Patristic. This research requires effort, bowing one's head and getting down to work."

It is not a theory learned from the outside, but an experience matured on one's own skin: “During the day I worked; in the evening I ate light meals to study at night. Thus I managed to graduate and qualify for teaching. I advise everyone to invest in their studies. When the priest is rich in the three Truths, which make him a man, close to God and father, then he is 'set' as a priest; because culture is the best weapon to face (and deal with) the mission."

How attractive is sound judgment in the gray-haired, and for the aged to possess good counsel!
How attractive is wisdom in the aged,  and understanding and counsel in the venerable! Rich experience is the crown of the aged, and their boast is the fear of the Lord. (Sir 25, 4-6)



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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