Italy – Holy Week or pandemic: "In the midst of so much pain, we've witnessed the most beautiful gestures of humanity"

10 April 2020

(ANS - Turin) - A few weeks ago, the 28th General Chapter of the Salesians in Turin had to be concluded prematurely. Some Salesians were able to return to their countries. Others remained in various parts of Europe. Some remain in Turin and continue to wait for the day of their return. When? Only God knows. Nobody has wasted his time, because wherever the Provincials may be, they continue to encourage and govern their Provinces. Fr Angel Prado Mendoza has sent us a reflection. "Holy week or pandemic?"

Holy Week 2020 has come to us in very new circumstances, and I believe that, although all Holy Weeks call us to reflection, prayer and contemplation of the mysteries that gave us new life, this Holy Week is doing so with a very special and particular emphasis.

In fact, this year the usual voices that invite us to experience Holy Week as a party or a walk have been silenced. This year we have not seen the big advertisements that invited us to buy and purchase useless things, as simple victims of consumerism. This year there were no promotions in hotels or resorts to experience "Holy Week" as something disembodied from faith in a God who gave His life for humanity.

And the most impressive of all, at least for us believers, is that the churches will be closed and empty this year. Blessed be God that in this sense the initiatives have multiplied, some of which are extremely commendable.

So we ask ourselves: has this pandemic that invaded us without fore-warning ruined our Holy Week? I would say no, not only did it not ruin it, but rather, it helped us rediscover its deeper meaning.

The most shocking, most painful thing is the thousands and thousands of infected and dead people in many countries of the world. It is a true global tragedy. And in the midst of so much pain, we have also witnessed the most beautiful gestures of humanity.

Motivated by everything we are experiencing, I dared to dream.

I dream of a more humane, fairer, more generous world. I dream of a world that has learned to invest its best resources in health and education.

I dream of a world that has learned to kneel because it recognizes, values ​​and respects the sacred, because it knows that the only infinite is God.

I dream of a world that finally, after many trials, has learned to say "Our Father, who art in Heaven ..." and has learned to live the Gospel synthesized in the new commandment of love: "Love one another as I have loved you."

So, despite the pandemic, it is possible to live this Holy Week with all its qualities, fully.

by Fr Angel Prado Mendoza, SDB
Provincial of Central America


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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