Father’s letter Easter 2020
With this letter I wish to develop further the theme of consecration. It
is addressed to the Brethren, the Rosminian Sisters of Providence, the
Adopted Sons, and the Ascribed Members. Our commitment to
consecration in the Rosminian Family is expressed in different ways,
but our life is the same: we are all grafted “in Christ”, all branches of
the one vine, associated in the charism of universal charity, the means
of our sanctification.
The purpose of my Easter Letter is twofold: firstly, to strengthen the
conviction that our life is not “wasted” because given to God. Secondly,
since it is indeed given to God, we must not detract from the gift, but
we must offer it with generosity, even if, in the eyes of the world, it
may seem a wasted gift. The “world” has no right to despise believers,
judging them unproductive and useless. We, however, must not
detract from the gift, on the contrary, let us abound to the point of
being prodigal, because God is the recipient of our gift.
The value of our Baptismal Consecration
Consecration is something which has almost… a divine quality about it,
and this is not of little value. However, it is true to say that awareness
of our own baptismal consecration has been growing, and I will say
more about it later.
The first Consecration
“… Abel for his part brought the first-born of his flock, and some of their
fat as well” (Gen. 4, 4).
The offering made by Abel, the first in order of time, was also a
beginning, that is, a paradigm for subsequent consecrations. God calls
the “humble”, but “great things” are done through him.
The first consecration, according to Holy Scripture, was that of Abel.
Even though he was the son of sinners, he remained by nature a
worshipper. He was a just man, because he acknowledged the truth
and adjusted his actions to the truth. Truth and justice are two sides of
the same coin. Justice is the action corresponding to the truth. Abel
acknowledged God as the source both of himself and of his flock.
Aware of this, he offered something to the One who gave him life and
the means to live. It comes naturally to thank, to worship, and to give
to God. It is always possible to offer and consecrate oneself to God; it
is not only possible, but desirable.
When man moves towards the Creator, he feels the need to offer
himself back to Him, with gratitude. This action involves a self-giving,
therefore a kind of self-destruction. Man is not satisfied with thoughts
or words but feels the need to deprive himself of something he loves,
even though God does not need it. God is pleased with every good
thing that is offered to him. Indeed, even a heart that repents for
having done evil is a good pleasing to God (Psalm 50). The route to the
gift of consecration, whether for thanksgiving or for atonement, is
always open. (See A. Rosmini, Theosophy, nos. 1057-1058).
Abel is indeed a just man in the sense that, even though he is the
second-born son, he offers to God the first-born of his flock. Other
people will live the same experience, so that the power of the Creator
and not of the creature may shine forth: “The first will be last and the
last will be first”. This thought takes us to Bethlehem: the birth of the
only begotten Son of God, the new Adam and the new Abel, takes place
among the shepherds, despised as the lowest in society. Both Abel and
Jesus pay with their own life their self-giving to God, victims of the
jealousy of people who viewed themselves as most important.
The uncommon generosity of common people
All of us, Ascribed members included, have benefited from recent
Church’s declarations on the consecrated life. They are many and
effective, from Vatican II to today. Outstanding among the many is the
Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata. The most important message of
this programmatic text is entitled “the over-abundance of the free gift”.
The text presents, as a significant example of a most generous and total
gift, a passage from the Gospel of John: “Mary brought in a pound of
very costly ointment, pure nard, and with it anointed the feet of Jesus,
wiping them with her hair; the house was full of the scent of the
ointment” (John 12, 3).
Mary is an ordinary woman, but her love for Jesus is not ordinary. She
does not keep for herself not even a drop of the ointment, she wastes
it all on Jesus’ feet, sign of an eternal love, beyond death. In fact, the
custom was to anoint only the feet of the dead, not of the living. Her
hair too, the main ornament for a woman, is here presented as simply
a means for drying Jesus’ feet. Judas highlights the wastefulness of her
action: she could have helped the poor with the money, the equivalent
to one full year’s salary. Jesus helps us understand that we must not
only help the poor, but that they must be made to feel welcome into
the community at any time, since they are Jesus present among us.
Rosmini introduces the universality of charity in our Institute at n. 459
of the Constitutions. He mentions a similar episode, from the Gospel
of St. Luke: “Her many sins have been forgiven her, because she has
shown such great love” (Lk. 7, 48). True love cannot be restricted and
always aims at achieving the purest and widest good, disregarding
True consecration has many forms, but only one source, the divine
charity which has found its place in the human heart. Universality is an
integral part of charity.
All Christians are called to give away what they have, and many do it,
in whatever state they are. There is much to be learned from the good
example of those who give while at work, or in their illness. Today, we
look with great admiration at the mission of doctors and of those who
provide medical care. Families too are faced with very difficult rhythms
of life and situations. There are times when I am tempted to consider
myself very generous; and, instead, I find myself very humbled, as a
religious, by just thinking about the following little episode.
A parish priest had organised a pilgrimage to an Abbey. He had
managed to get the good men of his community interested by telling
them that also the monks worked in the fields. He told them to talk
quietly while visiting such mystical place. The monk who had been
given the task of explaining their way of life began by saying: “My dear
people, you must know that we rise for the first prayer at 3am every
morning, and again at 6am…” At that moment the voice of one of the
visitors could be heard saying to his friend: “My wife gets up more than
seven times during the night for our little children”.
The totality of religious consecration
“We cannot love God just a little”, according to Saint Augustine. From
these words, it is evident that everyone is invited to “to do more”.
The commitment to give “everything” constitutes the yoke of the
religious, but also his true fulfilment. The religious is the man of total
self-giving. Father Pier Giordano Cabra, who was the learned cooperator
in the writing of the Apostolic Exhortation “Vita consecrata”,
is also the author of persuasive books, reprinted several times, which
insist on the totality of the gift: With all my heart, (virginity and
celibacy); With all your strength (poverty); With all my soul
(obedience); As yourself (the mission); Dear Stefano (letters to a young
man who could do more).
Consequently, if one should choose, which kind of life would be the
one that can foster unlimited love for God? Rosmini did not delay in
giving the answer when, at the age of seventeen, he realised that it
was God who was calling him to consecrate himself. He had already
understood, by the end of the previous year, that “there is no other
wisdom but in God”. The primacy of God is the criterion to be applied
in every circumstance, because the value of every single action,
including studying, is determined by its object, its purpose.
To strive for good, to ascend, to be drawn upwards to God, in every
instant of life and in every action: like the lymph, or the incense, or the
These images allow us to explain the foundation of our consecrated life
in dynamic, not static terms. Consecration is not something limited to
one day. It starts at a point in time, but there are no times for
The foundation and the golden chain of Rosminian consecration
Anyone who reads the Constitutions can feel a little puzzled about Part
Six, entitled “Foundation of the whole Institute”. There are nine pages
only, too few if we compare them with the abundance of references to
this theme in Fr Founder’s many other writings. In the Constitutions,
he deals only with the four pillars of the foundation: Providence, Grace
of Jesus Christ, Justice, Love of God. The strong bond between them
makes them a very solid platform. It appears as a kind of formula used
to define the identity: you are a Rosminian consecrated person if you
live according to these four dimensions.
The foundational platform highlighted in the Constitutions becomes a
golden chain in the five sermons preached by Rosmini at the
celebration of perpetual professions of the brethren. The “lovely and
precious” links of the chain are the following: “Justice, the first link,
leads us to find the Almighty and to choose his providence and
goodness, the second link, as a guide to our steps. God then directs us
to charity towards our neighbour, the third link. Charity leads us to
sacrifice, the fourth link, and sacrifice to imperishable glory, the fifth
and last link”.
It is not possible to deal fully with Rosmini’s five sermons in this letter,
but they should be known by all of us.
A bold and demanding summary was written in 1952 by Maria Teresa
Antonelli, of the University of Genoa, with the title: “Christian
asceticism in Antonio Rosmini”. The links already mentioned were
carefully examined with great clarity. Her conclusion is excellent and
enlightening, helpful in appreciating at a deeper level Rosmini’s
consecration: “The Christian saint was born as a result of his longing
for God, beyond and above himself, to the point that real Love came to
dwell in him in place of selfish love. His experience was neither ascetic
nor mystical: his life was simply liturgical, in the most integral sense of
the term, as a repetition of the mystery of the Incarnation: he became
the pure image of Christ, the Love of God within human flesh”.
The image which can help us in meditating on Rosmini as a liturgical
saint is the image of the bee: pollen drawn from flowers is transformed
in purest and sweetest honey.
The image of the beehive is also useful if applied to us, the Rosminian
Family with outstretched and consecrated arms. We are a single
reality, alive and acting as one in a variety of different situations. In our
harmony we seek the common good; in the variety, we share our
personal gifts, in the differences, we integrate positively on achieving
the common end.
Perfect consecration is “liturgical”
In my Lenten Letter, I brought out the “common” dimension of
consecration with reference to three of our Rules. The qualification of
Rosmini as a “liturgical saint”, not only as an “ascetical and mystical
saint”, demands now further investigation.
St. Augustine was proud to say that what distinguished him from the
faithful as a bishop was less important than what united him to them
as a baptized person. This thought was used by Rosmini in many of his
We find it in his doctrine on the common priesthood of the faithful, a
topic which I mentioned briefly in my Lenten Letter. “Rosmini deals
with the question with a truly daring language for his time; he is so
profound in his theological justifications, that even today, many experts
say, he has remained unequalled”. (A. Neglia, Laici senza complessi, p.
Rosmini highlights with clarity the baptismal consecration and
therefore the common priesthood of the faithful by means of seven
endowments or powers, which can be summarised as follows. Since all
of us are baptised Christians, such powers apply to us as well.
“The simple baptized faithful, by virtue of his priestly character
participates in some way in each of the seven powers of the universal
1- Constituent power: it belongs to the bishop, the priest, but also to
2- Liturgical power: the faithful does not have the power to sacrifice
the Victim of the New Testament through the consecration of the
bread and wine but has the power to offer it to the eternal Father.
3- Eucharistic power: by virtue of his baptism, the Christian acquires
the right to receive the Sacraments, including the most holy Eucharist.
In cases of necessity, he can also administer the Sacrament to himself
and to other baptized faithful. (This is now the case with the extraordinary
Ministers of the Eucharist, who are mainly lay faithful).
4- Power to dissolve and to bind and medicinal power: the Christian
can receive – if truly sorry, etc. – the forgiveness of sins, the Anointing
of the sick and the Viaticum.
5- Hierogenetic power: marriage of Christians is at the same time a
Sacrament and it represents the union of Christ and of the Church. The
couple are the ministers of the Sacrament. Whereas with the other
Sacraments the baptismal character impressed on their soul gives
them only the faculty of receiving them, with the Sacrament of
Marriage their baptismal character gives them also the active faculty
of being ministers and of sealing it.
6- Didactic power: although the ministry of the Word belongs mainly
to bishops and priests sent by them, nevertheless the faithful is also
partly called to the same ministry, since:
1. He is obliged to confess Christ before all people.
2. He can communicate the teaching received from the pastors of the
Church; moreover, under their direction, he can pass it on to others,
either orally or in written form.
3. He has an obligation, if he is a parent for example, to instil in children
sound doctrine not only with the help of others, but also by sharing his
life with them.
4. He has the right to compare the teaching of a Bishop with that of
other Bishops of the universal Church, and to reject the former if it is
contrary to the decisions expressed by the universal Church; or to
choose the most common and most authoritative opinion in matters
which have not been clearly defined.
7- Administrative power: this has to do with the persons in charge of
the government of the Church, the disciplinary laws of the Church, the
things possessed by the Church” (See Antonio Rosmini, Theocratic
Society, edited by Clemente Riva, pages 237-248).
We ought to exercise these seven “powers” according to their merits.
We all feel strongly that we belong to the Church, to her life, to her
mission. We also know that it is not permissible to be intrusive and
presumptuous; however, we cannot be lukewarm, insipid, or dull. We
ought to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Let’s put
our life in God’s hands with a generous heart and we shall see that it
will not be wasted at all but enhanced!
NB. Recently, Don Giuseppe La Torre, priest of the diocese of Mileto, a
frequent visitor of our community at Porta Latina, published a
powerful doctoral thesis on this topic, in which Rosmini’s teaching on
the common priesthood of the faithful found a worthy position; the
thesis was approved summa cum laude at the Pontifical Institute of St.
Anselm. “Antonio Rosmini can rightly be defined a liturgist and a
forerunner of the liturgical renewal because, in his works, he tried to
develop a system that would highlight the reasons for the public
worship in the Church”.
NB. Even if Ascribed Members are not religious with vows, we, the
religious with vows are all Ascribed Members (see Const. N. 129, D) as
well as Christian faithful.
Consecration and difficulties for young people today
In recent years, the situation with young people concerning the
religious vocation and the situation of consecrated life have changed
radically. The distance between these two realities has become wider
and wider. Today, consecrated life is often seen as a wasted life. In fact,
religious vocations are less and less numerous in the western world.
There is also a decrease in other parts of the world. On the other hand,
young people, not only today, but today more than yesterday, are very
keen not to waste their lives, but to fulfil themselves. This trend is also
due to the high expectations parents have towards their children,
fewer in number than in the past.
There is no doubt that any self-giving to God always reaches its end. At
times, there is a high cost to pay because of the difficulties one
encounters, which however, make the gift even more precious. It has
always been so from the beginning, but it is evident that for the young
people of today consecrated life, though still attractive, has begun to
show some wrinkles. Christian life has decreased in the Western
World, families have fewer children, and such factors weigh heavily on
parents’ expectations towards their children. Consequently,
candidates for religious congregations and for dioceses have
On the other hand, consecrated life cannot possibly give up that
overabundance of gratuitousness, that radical requirement that has
characterized it since its origin. It is therefore a question of showing
that what is seen as a waste is in fact a gift of love, therefore a
fulfilment. It is important to realise that without this self-giving not
only consecrated life, but also human life cannot be fulfilled, and
therefore it is … wasted.
It is not a play on words. You can have different opinions on the infinite
ways of realizing the gift of love in your life, but this does not detract
from the basic theme of consecration. Every man is Abel. The best way
not to waste ourselves and our days is this: to offer ourselves and our
days to God.
This is not a limitation, on the contrary, it is the realization of man as
image of God. Once again, we are enlightened by Rosmini’s teaching:
God would not have created man in his image if he had not placed in
him the possibility of being the author of his own good.
Benedetta Bianchi Porro, who died in 1964 at the age of 28, paralyzed
and blind, was beatified in September 2019. From birth she had a
disability, for which she was nicknamed the “little lame” girl. But she
had accepted it enough to nickname herself the “big lame” girl.
Wherever she went, she was always joyful and generous. She wrote:
“Charity is to abide in others” and also: “Peace comes when you no
longer reap for your barn, but for that of God”. The miracle for her
beatification occurred while she was alive, in Lourdes, where she went
“to draw strength from the heavenly Mother”.
Next to her, before the Virgin’s grotto, there was a young woman in a
wheelchair who could not stop crying while praying for her condition.
Benedetta hugged her, comforted her, and said to her: “The
Madonnina is there looking at you”, and this girl, a little later, got up
and walked. “It is the true miracle of Lourdes: we pray for others and
rejoice for others more than for ourselves”. Benedetta was not envious,
on the contrary, she was happy to have witnessed a miraculous
This story helps to identify with certainty the way to self-fulfilment.
God gives everyone a path towards sanctification, in health or in
sickness, in a short or long life, in a good name or in the contempt of
men. Being discarded by men must not lead one to feel that he is
rejected by God
Man discards, God does not. Those who consecrate themselves will
not be discarded. Some examples.
In my Lenten Letter, I mentioned our Rosminian Ezio Viola who was a
religious but not a priest, and Maria Cristina Boffelli, who was a
consecrated Ascribed. I now wish to recall briefly three Rosminian
religious through whom we see proclaimed the message of a
consecration to which God grants the grace to overcome obstacles.
These are the experiences of religious who have become divine
treasure because they remained steadfast in their consecration to God,
in spite of everything.
The first is obviously Father Founder, as I said earlier. He himself had
the presentiment, when he was 18, that he would be marginalized, like
a stone rejected because considered unsuitable for the building up of
the Church; later, however, it would be cleaned and polished to the
point of becoming a column in the Church.
Later, while he was at Calvario, a young man of 32, he went through
two temptations, that is, two invitations to be less generous, not to
waste his life on that mountain far from everyone. The first came from
his mother. We do not know the words he used, but we can guess them
from what he wrote to Don Luigi Gentili, who was finding it hard to
waste his life by coming to Calvario from Rome, after so many promises
and delays. The second is revealed by the reply he gave to Tommaseo.
“Is what the world calls madness truly so? If so, then the cross of Christ
is madness too; and so is the Gospel; and so is the actions of the
apostles, who exposed themselves to all sorts of dangers and sufferings
for the name of Jesus Christ, as the holy martyrs also did”.
If a person feels that he cannot embrace the consecrated life he must
be careful not to despise it, by seeing it as a wasted life. Rosmini wrote
this, taking it from St. Thomas (Maxims, The Perfect Life, No. 6). No one
should repeat the excuse of those who, after giving up trying to reach
a bunch of grapes, go away saying “it is not yet ripe”.
Rather, the Christian should feel that charity is an equally safe way,
provided it is understood in the right way: “Perfect charity, in which
consists the perfection of all Christians, brings the whole person into
union with the Creator. It may be defined as a total consecration or
sacrifice that some Christians make to God”. (ibid. N. 7).
How precious this statement is: where there is “perfect charity” there
is also “total consecration or sacrifice”. It is a permanent, timeless star
on the Rosminian Family and on the Church. As if to say: priests and lay
people should not despise the religious life, nor should the religious
despise the life of priests and lay people, because what is valuable for
all is “perfect charity” understood as “total consecration or sacrifice”.
After 190 years, the Maxims have kept all their relevance.
Evident to everyone is Father Founder’s great intuition of opening the
door of the Institute of Charity to anyone who wishes to embrace
perfect charity as a total consecration to do what pleases God. “Our
Institute is neither a Society of clerics nor of lay people, but a mixed
Society: and this is also a characteristic that distinguishes it from other
religious Orders. The reason for this is that, having universal charity as
its goal, this charity can be exercised by lay people as well as by
ecclesiastics; whereby the part of the clerics is rather the main and
more integral part, but not the essential “. (Carteggio Rosmini-Setti,
vol. 12, parte II; Christmas Letter, Wonderful Conjunction, 10
December 2014, p. 13). Please note that Rosmini is talking here of “laybrothers”,
that is, Rosminian religious, compared to “clerics”, that is,
Rosminian priests. The Institute, however, was approved with the
inclusion of Adoptive Sons and Ascribed Members.
The second is Father Clemente Rebora. On 6 November 1930, Father
Giuseppe Bozzetti welcomed him to Stresa for a few months, at the
request of the Diocese of Milan. Clemente Rebora, forty-five years old,
with a degree in literature, but lacking in Christian formation was
introduced to theological studies in Dogma, Ethics, Sacred Scripture,
Liturgy, Canon Law, and History of the Church. During those months
the diocesan leaders were not too keen for him to continue towards
the priesthood. On December 17th, after praying on his knees at
Rosmini’s tomb, he went back to his room and he wrote: “Saint
Rosmini, pray for me … Ask Mary and Jesus to give me a clear answer
to this question, tomorrow morning: a journey according to God’s will,
in a life lived as I live it now … “. “I wrote this at 6pm on December 17th,
1930; soon after, Fr Bozzetti came to my room with the answer!”
NB. How can we fail to notice the quick answer from Providence, and
from Rosmini invoked as “Saint” by Clemente Rebora, who was not yet
Rebora went back to Milan and brought with him Father Bozzetti’s
letter to his spiritual father Don Angelo Portaluppi. Father Bozzetti
wrote in the letter that “although it would be pleasing to have such a
candidate”, “there are no predispositions in him for religious life” and
invited him to “cultivate his vocation to the priesthood”. Rebora went
back to Stresa on 1st January 1931, fixing in a programmatic motto his
next spiritual work: “From conversion to Christ to conversion in Christ”.
At the end of March, he returned to the Major Seminary of Venegono
for a personal meeting with Msgr. Petazzi. Father Bozzetti wrote a very
detailed report on the program carried out and concluded: “The
excellent conduct of Rebora and the knowledge of his rare moral and
spiritual gifts make me very happy to have dealt with him and I
recommend him to you, very reverend Father, in every respect “.
This pleasing presentation by Father Bozzetti was not enough for the
Rector. Rebora’s mother, however, six months earlier had already said
to him: “Will you become a Don or a Father? I feel and see you more as
Father – a Rosminian Father!” On his return to Stresa, having been told
he was “not accepted”, he had another long conversation with Father
Bozzetti, who left him waiting for a few days to give him time to make
his own free, spontaneous and personal choice, should he wish to
“enter the Rosminian order”. On April 8th, he wrote to his mother saying
that if she would come to Stresa at a later stage, she would find more
than one who “would be happy to see the mother of this child
professor”. On April 12th he communicated his decision to Father
Bozzetti, and on May 13th he went from Stresa to Calvario to begin the
Novitiate. (C. Giovannini, L’approdo rosminiano di Clemente Rebora,
pages 62-72). To this account of his conversion and consecration it is
worth adding another important detail.
During the novitiate, Rebora had as a companion among others Don
Ambrogio Casale, who had entered a year earlier. He later became a
teacher of mathematics and physics, also expert in repairing watches,
razors and televisions; a pure soul who would not have been able to
tell a lie, though he was not too good at keeping discipline in the
classroom. In 1999, while we were together in the community of
Stresa, he confided to me that the fact that Rebora had become a
Rosminian was also due to his brother. The brother was a waiter in
Venegono. One day, while at table, the Superiors of the Seminary were
talking about a professor Rebora, already an adult, who had asked to
be received. From the conversation, he understood that they were not
favourable, and he dared to interject gently that in Domodossola,
where his brother Ambrogio was a novice, “they also accept adult
men”. And so it was. Providence has its own ways, and may also use
waiters, or the least of all.
Another example of religious consecration grown out of accepting a
different perspective from the one previously dreamed of, can be
found in the life of Father Giovanni Battista Zantedeschi. As a boy, he
was a diligent altar boy, for the sake of the “Eucharistic bread”, but also
– he himself confided this to me on the occasion of his 50th anniversary
of priestly ordination in his hometown – because, on his way back from
Mass, he used to pass by the bakery, receiving every time as a gift a
small hot loaf of bread.
While he was a novice, he feared that the Superiors, at the end, would
send him to do teacher training studies and not classical studies. This
meant, in those days, being excluded from the priesthood and
remaining Primary School teacher for life. He went into crisis, but
finally he had the courage to go to the Novice Master. Father Ugo
Honan, respected and wise, listened to him and then said with a clear
voice: “The priesthood is God’s gift. If God wants you to be priest, there
is no one in the world able to stop it; if God has decided that you must
not be a priest, you can try whatever you want, but you will not become
one”. He felt at peace. He did his teacher training course, became a
teacher and vice-rector at Fabriago, as I said in my letter of last year.
At the end of the war, whereas the need for Primary School teachers
decreased, there was an increase in the demand for formators in the
Institute and for priests in the parishes. He was sent to Rome to do his
theology, and a few years later, with Clemente Riva, both Primary
School teachers, became formators of young Rosminians. What
matters is the total self-gift of the consecration, the rest must be left
in the hands of Divine Providence.
For Msgr. Clemente Riva there had also been a previous rejection. He
had requested to enter the seminary in Bergamo. Unfortunately, after
the fifth year in the Primary School, he was unable to continue for a
couple of years. He could not pass the entrance exam and was
discarded. His written work was full of words in the Bergamo dialect,
with very few words in the Italian language. He was accepted,
however, in the Rosminian Minor Seminary, and afterwards into the
novitiate, and after that he was sent to do his teacher training course.
His cultural activity was vast and fruitful, and his pastoral zeal led him
to do his utmost as one of the auxiliary bishops of Rome.
I cannot neglect to dedicate a few lines regarding our house in Via di
Porta Latina in Rome, the centre of our Missionary College A Rosmini
and the seat of the General and his Curia. We are grateful to
Providence. Our Father Founder is now one of the Blessed of Holy
Church, a Church’s “column”. His “love, attachment, and unlimited
respect for the See of the Roman Pontiff” is also rewarded with the
entrustment of this building consecrated to the memory and
veneration of the apostle and evangelist John. There is no doubt that
Rosmini would have considered it truly a “reward” and an honour to
be given the responsibility of the Basilica of San Giovanni in Porta
Latina. This building is owned by the Lateran Basilica, which is the
mother Church of all churches in Rome and around the world. The
Cathedral of San Giovanni is our parish. The link is evident and has the
characteristic of a consecration, not only symbolic, seeing ourselves as
co-operators n the mission of the Holy Father. I won’t hide it from you
that I felt an intimate joy when I compared Rosmini’s presentiment,
expressed in one of his poems when he was eighteen years old, about
being first a discarded stone and afterwards a column in the temple,
with this line of John in the Apocalypse: “Hold firmly to what you
already have, and let nobody take your prize away from you. Those who
prove victorious I will make into columns in the temple of my God, and
they will stay there for ever” (Ap 3, 11-12).
It is right to add that Father Giuseppe Bozzetti’s foresight was
rewarded also in another way: our students are very close to the
Rosminian consecration: always, everywhere, for the love of God
The Rosminian vocation is a difficult vocation. This must be said and
kept firm. It is useful to remember Gideon’s example every day. Not
the number, but the quality constitutes a strong army. We can be good
Rosminians, and I mean all the members of the Rosminian Family, if we
love God first and above all things. The big trials in life can only be
overcome by faith. A compact alabaster boulder, if cut into thin slabs,
can become bright windows. The proof is in our Basilica. In the same
way, a burdensome life can become a bright consecration if it is divided
into as many acts of love of God and neighbour as there are hours, and
even, we may say, half hours. Consecration is nothing more than an
action made sacred by perfect charity.
“All goodness of things and persons comes from God alone, the
beginning of all things, as well as their end and perfection. Let the love
of God, therefore, be the single source of all the cares and labours to
which the members of this Society are dedicated” (Const. 481-483).
Morning prayer of self-offering and personal consecration of Antonio
(Translated from an unpublished Latin version. Handed over to the
members of the tribunal, at the end of the opening session of the
diocesan process, in Novara, on December 2nd, 2019)
“O God, I offer you today and always my freedom, my body, my soul
and all my powers: my memory, my intellect, my will, and my senses.
I declare that as far as I am concerned, I do not consent and will never
consent to anything which may offend you.
I firmly resolve to commit my being, my faculties and energies to your
service and for your glory.
I propose to do my best to ensure that all people serve you, glorify you
and love you.
I thank you because every day you bestow freely with your benevolent
providence the merits of the most holy humanity of Christ and of the
I offer you all my actions, washed and inhabited by the most precious
Blood of Jesus our Redeemer. May they always be united with the
merits of the life, passion and death of Christ, of Mary Most Holy and
of all the saints”.
(Rovereto, 22 giugno 1838)
Father Vito Nardin
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