Blessed Scalabrini's Feast - June 1st
John Baptist Scalabrini (1839-1905) lived in a time of great transformation and was aware of the dramatic events of his time. At that time, thousands upon thousands of Italians and other Europeans were leaving their countries because of poverty and had to face the uncertainties and suffering of migration. Confronted by so much pain, John Baptist Scalabrini could have simply stopped at a feeling of compassion, but instead he asked himself the question: "What should be done?”. He shouldered the responsibility for the migrants that he saw by intervening on their behalf at different levels.
“Deeply in love with God and extraordinarily devoted to the Eucharist, he was able to translate the contemplation of God and his mystery in an intense apostolic and missionary action, becoming all things to all to proclaim the Gospel.” (John Paul II)
Emigration is a law of nature.
The physical and the human world depend on this mysterious force which stirs and mixes the elements of life without destroying them, carrying living organisms born in one place and scattering them throughout space, transforming and bringing them to perfection, thus renewing the miracle of creation at every moment.
Seeds migrate on the wings of the wind. Plants migrate from continent to continent on the waves of the seas and rivers. Birds and other animals move from place to place. But even more do human beings migrate, sometimes in groups, sometimes alone, and, in so doing, are always the free instruments of Divine Providence, which presides over human destiny, leading all people, even through great calamities, to their final goal: the perfection of man on earth and the glory of God in heaven.
This is what Divine Revelation is telling us. This is what history and modern science are teaching us. It is only from this threefold source of truth that we can deduce the laws that govern the phenomenon of emigration and that we can set down the wise and practical guidelines regulating this phenomenon in all its rich variety of forms.
Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini, Torino (Italy), 1899
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