Once again, the Pasch of the Lord draws near! In our preparation for Easter, God in his providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion”. Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life.
With this message, I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time of grace anew, with joy and in truth. I will take my cue from the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (24:12).
These words appear in Christ’s preaching about the end of time. They were spoken in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, where the Lord’s passion would begin. In reply to a question of the disciples, Jesus foretells a great tribulation and describes a situation in which the community of believers might well find itself: amid great trials, false prophets would lead people astray and the love that is the core of the Gospel would grow cold in the hearts of many.
Let us listen to the Gospel passage and try to understand the guise such false prophets can assume.
They can appear as “snake charmers”, who manipulate human emotions in order to enslave others and lead them where they would have them go. How many of God’s children are mesmerized by momentary pleasures, mistaking them for true happiness! How many men and women live entranced by the dream of wealth, which only makes them slaves to profit and petty interests! How many go through life believing that they are sufficient unto themselves, and end up entrapped by loneliness!
False prophets can also be “charlatans”, who offer easy and immediate solutions to suffering that soon prove utterly useless. How many young people are taken in by the panacea of drugs, of disposable relationships, of easy but dishonest gains! How many more are ensnared in a thoroughly “virtual” existence, in which relationships appear quick and straightforward, only to prove meaningless! These swindlers, in peddling things that have no real value, rob people of all that is most precious: dignity, freedom and the ability to love. They appeal to our vanity, our trust in appearances, but in the end they only make fools of us. Nor should we be surprised. In order to confound the human heart, the devil, who is “a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44), has always presented evil as good, falsehood as truth. That is why each of us is called to peer into our heart to see if we are falling prey to the lies of these false prophets. We must learn to look closely, beneath the surface, and to recognize what leaves a good and lasting mark on our hearts, because it comes from God and is truly for our benefit.
A cold heart
In his description of hell, Dante Alighieri pictures the devil seated on a throne of ice, in frozen and loveless isolation. We might well ask ourselves how it happens that charity can turn cold within us. What are the signs that indicate that our love is beginning to cool?
More than anything else, what destroys charity is greed for money, “the root of all evil” (1 Tim 6:10). The rejection of God and his peace soon follows; we prefer our own desolation rather than the comfort found in his word and the sacraments. All this leads to violence against anyone we think is a threat to our own “certainties”: the unborn child, the elderly and infirm, the migrant, the alien among us, or our neighbour who does not live up to our expectations.
Creation itself becomes a silent witness to this cooling of charity. The earth is poisoned by refuse, discarded out of carelessness or for self-interest. The seas, themselves polluted, engulf the remains of countless shipwrecked victims of forced migration. The heavens, which in God’s plan, were created to sing his praises, are rent by engines raining down implements of death.
Love can also grow cold in our own communities. In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, I sought to describe the most evident signs of this lack of love: selfishness and spiritual sloth, sterile pessimism, the temptation to self-absorption, constant warring among ourselves, and the worldly mentality that makes us concerned only for appearances, and thus lessens our missionary zeal.
What are we to do?
Perhaps we see, deep within ourselves and all about us, the signs I have just described. But the Church, our Mother and Teacher, along with the often bitter medicine of the truth, offers us in the Lenten season the soothing remedy of prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
By devoting more time to prayer, we enable our hearts to root out our secret lies and forms of self-deception, and then to find the consolation God offers. He is our Father and he wants us to live life well.
Almsgiving sets us free from greed and helps us to regard our neighbour as a brother or sister. What I possess is never mine alone. How I would like almsgiving to become a genuine style of life for each of us! How I would like us, as Christians, to follow the example of the Apostles and see in the sharing of our possessions a tangible witness of the communion that is ours in the Church! For this reason, I echo Saint Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians to take up a collection for the community of Jerusalem as something from which they themselves would benefit (cf. 2 Cor 8:10). This is all the more fitting during the Lenten season, when many groups take up collections to assist Churches and peoples in need. Yet I would also hope that, even in our daily encounters with those who beg for our assistance, we would see such requests as coming from God himself. When we give alms, we share in God’s providential care for each of his children. If through me God helps someone today, will he not tomorrow provide for my own needs? For no one is more generous than God.
Fasting weakens our tendency to violence; it disarms us and becomes an important opportunity for growth. On the one hand, it allows us to experience what the destitute and the starving have to endure. On the other hand, it expresses our own spiritual hunger and thirst for life in God. Fasting wakes us up. It makes us more attentive to God and our neighbour. It revives our desire to obey God, who alone is capable of satisfying our hunger.
I would also like my invitation to extend beyond the bounds of the Catholic Church, and to reach all of you, men and women of good will, who are open to hearing God’s voice. Perhaps, like ourselves, you are disturbed by the spread of iniquity in the world, you are concerned about the chill that paralyzes hearts and actions, and you see a weakening in our sense of being members of the one human family. Join us, then, in raising our plea to God, in fasting, and in offering whatever you can to our brothers and sisters in need!
The fire of Easter
Above all, I urge the members of the Church to take up the Lenten journey with enthusiasm, sustained by almsgiving, fasting and prayer. If, at times, the flame of charity seems to die in our own hearts, know that this is never the case in the heart of God! He constantly gives us a chance to begin loving anew.
One such moment of grace will be, again this year, the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative, which invites the entire Church community to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation in the context of Eucharistic adoration. In 2018, inspired by the words of Psalm 130:4, “With you is forgiveness”, this will take place from Friday, 9 March to Saturday, 10 March. In each diocese, at least one church will remain open for twenty-four consecutive hours, offering an opportunity for both Eucharistic adoration and sacramental confession.
During the Easter Vigil, we will celebrate once more the moving rite of the lighting of the Easter candle. Drawn from the “new fire”, this light will slowly overcome the darkness and illuminate the liturgical assembly. “May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds”, and enable all of us to relive the experience of the disciples on the way to Emmaus. By listening to God’s word and drawing nourishment from the table of the Eucharist, may our hearts be ever more ardent in faith, hope and love.
THE TWENTY-SIXTH WORLD DAY OF THE SICK 2018
Mater Ecclesiae: “Behold, your son… Behold, your mother. And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” (Jn 19:26-27)
THE PROVINCE OF BRAZIL
Five Camillian novices with their teacher, Fr. Geraldo Bogoni, have begun their journey of consecrated life in the Camillian Province of Brazil: Sim. John Pyterson (Haiti), Elói Bataglion, Pe. Geraldo, Danilo Servilha Rizzi, Frandel Frisky Fouche (Haiti) and Luan Nobre de Macedo.
A celebration in the Camillian Province of Brazil: the first religious profession of the novice Lucas Rodrigues Dalbom and the renewal of vows of Damião José do Nascimento, Edson da Silva Pires and Gabriel Anderson Barbosa
THE PROVINCE OF THAILAND
An important celebration in the Camillian community of Sampran (Thailand) of the fortieth anniversary of the priesthood of the Camillian religious Fr. Sante Tocchetto. This took place on Sunday 11 February 2018.
THE PROVINCE OF THE PHILIPPINES
Our confrere Anthony Ongcal was consecrated a priest in the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in Calbayog City on 11 February of this year by Msgr. Isabelo Abarquez D.D., bishop of the diocese of Calbayog. Many priests of the diocese, various Camillian religious and our Superior General concelebrated the solemn Eucharist. Relatives, friends and benefactors of Fr. Anthony and the Camillians thronged the cathedral for the event.
During the day dedicated to prayers for the sick (11 February 2018), Fr. Anthony presided over the celebration of the Eucharist in the Parish of St. Vincenzo Ferrer in Calbayog City. Fr. Leocir Pessini offered the homily of the celebration. During the Holy Mass the anointing of the sick was bestowed upon the sick people who were present.
The three novices are: Ruel Fernandez, Paul Austin Echavez and Benjie Ibanez. The investiture of the novices was held on February 20, 2018 at the St. Camillus Novitiate in Baguio City in time with the Canonical Visit of the Superior General. Hence, the mass and investiture was presided by Fr. Leocir Pessini, MI Superior General. Fr. Jose Eloja, MI Provincial Superior, Fr. Aristelo Miranda, MI Consultor General for Ministry, Fr. Ivo Anselmi, MI Novice Master, Fr. Anthony Ongcal, MI Asst. Novice Master and Fr. Gabriel Garcia, MI Provincial Councilor for Finance concelebrated and served as witnesses.
THE DELEGATION OF TAIWAN
The Chinese New Year was celebrated on 16 February. The tradition is that some days before new year employers invite their employees in order to thank them for the service that they have provided. On 2 February of this year the Camillians of St. Mary’s Hospital invited all of their 1,200 employees to this traditional event.
On 11 February, at the Church of St. Camillus in Lotung, the feast day of the sick was celebrated in the presence of elderly people and young people with handicaps in our ‘garden home’. The celebration of the Eucharist was followed by a moment of conviviality.
The Lay Camillian Family Pakistan
World Day of the Sick 2018 in Pakistan
(Okara, Pakistan)Together with the Universal Church, the Lay Camillian Family Pakistan celebrated the 26th World of the Sick by undertaking two main activities in two districts of Okara and Sahiwal.
The LCF held Free Medical Mission in a far flung village, (Chak 45/3R, Okara) where medical facilities are not so easily accessible in the community. The medical team of the LCF made available basic tests such as sugar test, Hep. B and C tests and other blood tests. They provided the necessary medical attention to those who are suffering in this cold weather.
Total number of patients checked, and medicated was 55. Out of this number, those who were administered Hepatitis B, C, there were 15 patients were positive, the condition they were unaware of.
“The patients who discovered their sicknesses were shocked and became worried as how to get the treatment. It was hard for them,” says Ms. Asia Aslam. The LCF in the future will help facilitate the process and find some sources to help.
MESSAGE FOR THE TWENTY-SIXTH WORLD DAY OF THE SICK 2018, HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS states that “The Church’s maternal vocation to the needy and to the sick has found concrete expression throughout the two thousand years of her history in an impressive series of initiatives on behalf of the sick. This history of dedication must not be forgotten. The memory of this long history of service to the sick is cause for rejoicing on the part of the Christian community, and especially those presently engaged in this ministry.”
The Lay Camillian Family in Pakistan continues becoming one of the hundred hands of St. Camillus while practicing “the Church’s maternal vocation to the needy and to the sick” through visitation, serving the sick as a mother who only child was sick. They conducted prayer services in the house of the sick. It is something very new for the people as they most often are unaware of the beautiful celebration of the world day of the sick. Fruits were distributed among the sick people on this special day through the generosity of Mr. Aslam.
Together with Pope Francis, the Lay Camillain Family in Pakistan prays, “May the Virgin Mary intercede …[and] help the sick to experience their suffering in communion with the Lord Jesus; and may she support all those who care for them.”
DELEGATION IN INDONESIA
Dilaga l’HIV: urge un impegno immediato del governo e delle chiese
Maumere (Agency Fides) – The Province of Indonesia of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), in which the Island of Flores is located, is one the first ten Provinces in Indonesia when it comes to the rate of cases of AIDS. No or low-knowledge about this disease, irresponsible attitudes towards sex, illegal brothels, and prostitution encouraged by poverty, have been the principle factors behind the increase in HIV on the island. To sound the alarm, in a conversation with the Agency Fides, was Father Alfonso Oles, a Camillian religious and the financial administrator of the Camillian Delegation of Indonesia. He said that he was worried about the very rapid increase in the number of cases of HIV on Flores: “Before the situation collapses, there should be an immediate and joint intervention by the government, the Church in general and the Camillians in particular”, said the missionary, observing that the Province where the Island of Flores is located is the Province of Indonesia that has the largest Catholic community.
“A Catholic medical doctor, Dr, Asep Purnama, who works with the Camillian religious and is involved in providing pastoral care in the local hospital, founded a clinic for the treatment of HIV and the system of counselling and voluntary tests (VCT) in the TC Hillers Hospital in Maumere where there are about 600 HIV-positive patients”, added the Camillian religious Father Mushtaq Anjum. “This doctor confirmed the seriousness of the situation in the Province and observed how carriers of the virus, workers outside the Island of Flores, because of their irresponsible and obstinate behavior were able to infect so many other people”. To prevent the spread of this emergency, Dr. Purnama, with the help of other people, has set in motion various activities. He has sought help in obtaining a budget to support the HIV programme, increase awareness about the virus, and educate people.
The local Church, through Father Verbita John Prior, SVD, does its best and helps HIV-positive patients who find support, thanks to the support groups that are active. However, the situation requires a more urgent response in order to address the worsening of the situation and avoid a real human tragedy on the island. “It does not matter that the process is relatively simple – the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS is more painful than the virus itself. People who live with AIDS experience every kind of discrimination both from their families and from society. They are the forgotten face of God. They deserve the compassion of all of us’, observed Fr. Anjum. The first case of HIV in the Province of Nusa Tenggara Timur was discovered in 1997 when it was found in a resident of the district of Larantuka who had come back from Malaysia. According to the data for the year 2015, the number of people thought to have HIV in Indonesia during the period 2000-2015 was 690,000. According to UNAIDS, about 3,200 children have been recently infected by HIV because of transmission from mother to child. The band of the population that has been most afflicted on the island is women prostitutes, with a prevalence rate of HIV of 5.3%.
(MA/AP) (31/1/2018 Agency Fides)
26TH WORLD DAY OF THE SICK CELEBRATION IN MAUMERE – FLORES, INDONESIA
Joining the whole Church, the Camillians in Maumere – Flores, Indonesia, celebrated the 26TH WORLD DAY OF THE SICK in the local government hospital of Maumere and in one of the parishes of the Diocese of Maumere – Flores.
The local government hospital of Maumere conducted a healing mass for the sick on February 11, 2018. The Mass was held in the chapel of the hospital, i.e., St. Camillus de Lellis chapel. It was presided by Fr. Suparman Andi, MI, the hospital chaplain, and concelebrated by Fr. Luigi Galvani, MI, Fr. Donato from the Stigmatin Fathers, Fr. Seraphim from the Sumascan Fathers. The mass was well attended by the health professionals, hospital directress and the management, as well as the vice mayor of the town, aside from patients and other faithful. There were many patients receiving the sacrament of anointing. In his remarks, the vice mayor expressed his gratitude on behalf of the local government to the Camillians for their spiritual assistance to the patients and the staff of the hospital.
On the other hand, two days prior to the celebration, the Camillian seminarians and scholastics, together with the formators, conducted an immersion program in Watu Bala parish, located around 40 KM from the town of Maumere. They were hosted in the houses of the parishioners. They gave catechism focusing on the theme of HIV/AIDS, to increase the knowledge and awareness of the parishioners on the said issue, and also visited, prayed, and consoled the sick parishioners in their homes. On the February 11, Fr. Alfons Oles, MI, presided the healing mass for the sick in the parish church, with the parish priest as the concelebrant. Many sick people were receiving anointing during the mass. This immersion activity was well appreciated by the parishioners and the parish priest, as well as by our seminarians and religious.
MANFREDONIA – SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO
On 1 February 2018, at the end of the celebration of the Eucharist at vespers, the Provincial minister of the Capucchins of the Province of Sant’Angelo and Padre Pio, Br. Maurizio Placentino, blessed the mosaic which portrays St. Camillus de Lellis with a sick man in his arms in the Sanctuary of St. Mary of Graces. This is the third mosaic in the church after those that portray John Paul II and Mother Teresa.
During his homily, Br. Maurizio invited those present to address themselves “to contemplating holiness which is not an abstract concept but, rather, the incarnation of the history of the Gospel, of the life of Jesus”. He then observed that the life of St. Camillus was intertwined with the life of Padre Pio: “Two saints, who were united not only because of their date of birth but also by the little cell in which St. Camillus stayed, albeit for only one night. In that same cell, centuries later, Padre Pio experienced important mystical moments. This place speak to us about, and invites us to, conversion and the life of the gospel”. The Church of St. Mary of Graces “today is enriched with this new piece which reminds us of this great example of holiness. In placing these saints in our churches, in the side naves, they are next to our congregations and ‘support’ us. Today they are near to us and are an example and encouragement for our lives so that all of us may find in their histories strength and inspiration for our journey of faith. Holiness is life and dynamism and we see this when we read the history of St. Camillus”.
Before the blessing of the mosaic, Father Rosario Messina, a Camillian, spoke and explained that “it was a duty, an obligation, a living wish for Camillians to express immense gratitude first of all to God and then to the Capuchin friars of this religious house who are a continuation of their predecessors and above all of a certain Padre Angelo who was for Camillus a real Angel. That evening of 1 February 1576 Padre Angelo uttered words that shook Camillus. It is here that he converted. This presence seeks to be a sign of gratitude and a drawing near to the spirituality of St. Padre Pio who was greatly devoted to St. Camillus”.
Benedizione del MOSAICO di San Camillo nel Santuario di Santa Maria delle grazie e omelia del Ministro Provinciale fr. Maurizio Placentino, Discorso di padre Rosario Messina, MI Provincia Siculo-Napoletana. CLICCA QUI
THE PROVINCE OF BURKINA FASO – THE OPENING OF THE GOLDEN JUBILEE OF THE JUVENAT SAINT CAMILLE OF OUAGADOUGOU (BURKINA FASO)
On Friday 2 February 2018, the Juvénat Saint Camille (editor’s note: minor seminary) solemnly inaugurated its golden jubilee in the presence of Fr. Gaétan Kaborè, the Provincial Superior (who is currently in Dakar for a meeting with the major Superiors of other religious institutes), and many Camillian religious and faithful (former students, parents of those studying at the seminary, internal and external students, and some faithful who celebrate the Eucharist in our chapel).
The Holy Mass was presided over by Fr. Jean Paul Ouedraogo who in recent years was a provider of formation at the Juvénat.
The celebration experienced three important moments: the ceremony of the opening of the golden jubilee, the celebration of the Eucharist and the awarding of prizes to three people who had formerly worked for the Juvénat.
REGOLAMENTO DI FORMAZIONE DEL’ORDINE CAMILLIANO. ORIENTAMENTI GENERALI
‘Formation is craft work, not police work. We have to form the heart. Otherwise we will form little monsters. And then these little monsters will form the people of God…We must not form administrators, managers, but fathers, brothers, travelling companions’.
Pope Francis, Conversation with Superior Generals (29 November 2013).
Through this updated version of the Rule for Formation of the Order of Camillians: General Guidelines, we have responded to the request of the LVII Extraordinary General Chapter (Ariccia-Rome, 16-21 June 2014) which identified – in the context of the Camillian Project: Towards a Creative and Faithful Life. Challenges and Opportunities – the area of formation and the promotion of vocations as being one of the three priorities of the Order for the six-year period 2014-2020. One of the pre-requisites in this strategic and vital sector of the life of the Order is an updating of the guidelines for formation: ‘to explore the reality of formation, taking into account the frequent abandonment of young men and to assess the need to work by geographical and linguistic areas’.
The previous edition of the Rule for Formation sprang from a long process of consultation and needed a long itinerary in terms of time to move towards its approval by the General Consulta. Fr. Angelo Brusco, the Superior General, summarised this achievement in the following way: ‘After the first draft, which took place in 1995 and was presented to the General Chapter that was celebrated in the same year, it was believed advisable for the document to be re-examined and then sent to the Provinces and Provincial Delegations for a period of experimentation to be continued until the celebration of the General Chapter of 2001’.
Almost two decades have passed and many things have changed, both in the world and in the Church, and we are called to read these new signs of the times in a prophetic key. We are living our history not in an epoch of change but in an authentic change of epoch.
In this sense it is not easy to interact with the culture of today’s young people who are defined as ‘millennials’; it is not so easy to respond to their troubles and to their search for the existential values that they yearn for, offering to them consecrated life as a lifestyle that is congruous with their expectations!
DIARY OF THE SUPERIOR GENERAL AND THE GENERAL CONSULTA
On 1-4 March 2018, Fr. Leocir Pessini and Fr. Laurent Zoungrana will visit the Camillian religious of the ‘Blessed Enrico Rebuschini’ community of Rome – Monte Mario.
On 4-28 March 2018, Fr. Leocir Pessini and Fr. Gianfranco Lunardon will visit the religious of the Camillian communities of the Province of North Italy.
ROME – THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE
‘Beauty will save the world’ (F.M. Dostoevsky)
The restoration and consolidation work on the frescoes and the wooden parts of our sacristy, which is an ancient monument, began at the beginning of the month of February. This work, undertaken by a laboratory of technicians, will last for approximately six months. The hope is that the style of ‘Roman small Baroque’ of the sacristy will go back to shining in all its splendour.
Gratitude is expressed to the FEC (Fund for Buildings of Worship) of the Ministry for Home Affairs and the Heritage Office of Rome.
‘OUR HISTORY’ – FROM OUR HISTORICAL ARCHIVES
In January 1713, pope Clement XI assigned to the Camillians the Roman parish church of St. John of Malva in the neighbourhood of Trastevere. In February 1714, the Vicar General of the Order presented to the Congregation for the Regular Discipline a memorial in which he pointed out how they arranged to place four religious and two brothers in the new house. Now, however, the Order had decided to transfer the roman novitiate there, “in order to make the novices live more segregated from other religious” to guarantee a better service to the Church. The Congregation gave its approval, without prejudice to the suppression of the novitiate of Santa Maria in Trivio (near the Trevi Fountain).
The church is of ancient origin. We already find in the catalogues of the churches in Rome of 1119 with the name of St. John at Gianicolo which changed the name to St. John of Malva perhaps due to the dense presence of mallow plants in that area, or due to the corruption of the term “mica aura”. The house at St. John of Malva was opened by Camillians in 1714. Due to a violent earthquake, it was destroyed in 1811. In 1842, Fr. Luigi Togni managed to get a large sum from Duchess Anna Londei Grazioli to be used for the reconstruction of the whole complex from the foundations. The Duchess is remembered in an inscription placed in memory of the restoration of the church, which was reopened in 1851.
Gaetano Lapis, St. Camillus, comforted by the angel, has the vision of the Crucifix, 1763, oil painting on canvas, 220x144cm, church of St. John of Malva, Rome.
Gaetano Lapis, a student of Conca, made in 1763 the altarpiece for the chapel of the saint (church of St. John of Malva, Rome), where the model of the vision of the Crucifix merges with that of the comfort of the angel. The result is a work that adapts to the patterns in use with sobriety and sentimentality.
Also, the church of St. John of Malva is listed among the places of Camillians, who lived there until 1870 to assist the sick and the sick of the parishes nearby Santa Maria in Trastevere and St. Dorotea.
In the pages of Camilliani/Camillians, a three-monthly journal in Italian and English, information and news about the Camillian world sub-divided into sections find their space: reflections of the Superior General, pastoral visitations, news from the General Secretariat for Formation, from the General Secretariat for Ministry, from the General Secretariat for Missions, and from the General Secretariat; as well as communications of a general kind.
MEETINGS OF THE ORDER OF CAMILLIANS (2014-2020)
See, now they vanish, the faces and places, with the self which, as it could, loved them. To become renewed, transfigured, in another pattern’ (T.S. Eliot).
Sister Giuditta (Daria) DA PRATO, a religious of the women Ministers of the Sick of St. Camillus, was born on 13 January 1924 and spent 70 years of her life as a woman religious. Her death took place on 12 February 2018 at the community of Casa Betania in Lucca
The death took place on 5 February 2018 of Sr. Natalina MANGIAGALLI, an Italian religious of the daughters of St. Camillus. She was 94 years old and had spent 70 years as a woman religious, serving God and our poor and sick brothers and sisters, above all in a land of mission, in Burkina Faso, where she lived for more than 30 years, with self-denial and great love.
‘Now they live in Christ whom they met in the Church, followed in our vocation, and served in the sick and the suffering. Trusting that the Lord, the Holy Virgin our Queen, St. Camillus, the Blessed Luigi Tezza, the Blessed Giuseppina Vannini, and our deceased religious brothers and sisters, will welcome them in their midst, we commend them in our prayers, remembering them with affection, esteem and gratitude’.
di p. Sam A. Cuarto
The Camillian Disaster Service International, now a legally recognized Foundation that evolved from the Camillian Task Force, is faced with this basic question: “What is the current mission situation that the Camillian Fathers, Brothers and Lay collaborators are facing?”
The Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) says “weather-related disasters are becoming increasingly frequent, due largely to a sustained rise in the numbers of floods and storms.” In fact, over the last twenty years (1995-2015), a total of 6,457 disasters related to weather were recorded worldwide by CRED’s EM-DAT, the world’s most comprehensive data on the occurrence and effects of technological and natural disasters. From between 1996-2016, around 1,350,000 people have been killed by natural hazards for the last 20 years. This is an average of 67,500 deaths per annum. Around 4.1 billion additional people are either injured, left homeless or in need of emergency assistance.
There is no doubt about the global increase of incidence in intense floods, storms, droughts and heat waves. In fact, “in the last four decades, the frequency of natural disasters recorded in the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) has increased almost three-fold, over over 1,300 events in 1975-1984 to over 3,900 in 2005-2014. All types of disasters have sharply increased between 1970 to 2014 (Figure 1).
PREGHIERA PER LE VITTIME DI DISASTRI DI OGNI GENERE
Dio Celeste, che hai creato e conservi ogni esistenza,
Tu conosci tutta la nostra tristezza e la nostra sofferenza. Tutte le vittime delle catastrofi di ogni genere siano accolte nella tua pace! Ricevi, noi ti preghiamo, nella tua misericordia, i tanti nostri fratelli e sorelle, sepolti dalle forze scaturite dalla natura. Conducili nella tua dimora!
Consola il dolore di tante famiglie, asciuga le lacrime di tanti fratelli, proteggi la solitudine di tanti orfani. Infondi a tutti coraggio perché il dolore si trasformi in cammino di crescita e di speranza.
Suscita nel cuore dei cristiani e di tutti gli uomini di buona volontà il desiderio di impegnarsi affinché i feriti e coloro che soffrono a causa di queste calamità, sperimentino il conforto della solidarietà fraterna.
Tu che vivi e regni nei secoli dei secoli. Amen.
Padre Nostro – Ave Maria – Gloria
Preghiera SAN CAMILLO DE LELLIS
trasformare dall’Amore e, senza filtri o barriere lo hai riversato sui malati,
gli emarginati, gli ultimi.
Guaritore ferito, la tua vulnerabilità e i tuoi limiti sono stati risorsa per
un amore che abbraccia senza possedere; che accoglie senza giudicare; che
dona senza attesa di ricompensa. Come fuoco che arde, la passione ti ha
consumato facendoti rivoluzionario e creatore di nuovi percorsi: l’Amore
ha superato leggi e regole, e sei andato spedito sulla via della carità.
Hai dato vita a una ‘nuova scuola di carità’, modello ai compagni che
seguirono le tue orme. Con la stessa passione di una madre china
sull’unico figlio malato, anche loro hanno assistito malati; accompagnato
morenti; asciugato lacrime; riscattato coloro che avevano perso la libertà.
Il tuo carisma forgia persone di ogni latitudine: a te guardano come
modello inarrivabile e attraente, perenne e sempre nuovo.
Conservaci nella freschezza del tuo messaggio di carità, per restare chinati
sul malato ‘nostro Signore e padrone’, consapevoli che la carità richiede
sentimento, intelligenza e azione.
Riscalda i nostri cuori al fuoco della misericordia, così che il nostro operare
sia guidato dalla tenerezza, dal rispetto, dall’accoglienza e dalla generosità.
Apri i nostri occhi perché sappiamo guardare con simpatia il tempo che
viviamo e scrutare i bisogni nascosti nelle pieghe della società.
E, infine, sorretti dalle tue mille benedizioni, fa’ che restiamo fedeli non
solo nelle giornate luminose, fruttuose e di successo, ma anche in quelle
oscure, aride e di fallimento. Amen.