The Pope canonizes the founder of the Scalabrinians, Salesian pharmacist
Pope Francis presided over the canonization Mass of Bishop Giovanni Battista Scalabrini and Artemide Zatti, recalling how these holy men lived as examples of an inclusive Church and encouraged the faithful to relearn how to humbly give gratitude for our lives and presence of God in her.
By Sophie Peeters
On Sunday, Pope Francis presided over the Beatification Mass for the current Holy Bishop Giovanni Battista Scalabri and Salesian Brother Artemide Zatti in St. Peter’s Square. The Mass was co-celebrated by Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, with the participation of fifty thousand faithful.
In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel of Luke which tells the story of the ten lepers who, after crying out to Jesus for mercy, were healed, with only one Samaritan achieving his healing and turned around “praising God with a loud voice”. ” (lc 5:15 p.m.).
The Pope invited the faithful to reflect on two aspects of the Gospel: walking together and give thanks.
The importance of walking together
Leprosy, Pope Francis noted, is a disease that isolates the sick from others, forcing those afflicted to stay together on the “margins of social and even religious life.”
This image of solidarity in desolation is also meaningful for us to reflect: if we can recognize our own sickness as sinners in need of the great mercy of God the Father, then we can become like brothers and sisters again, “aware that all of us are vulnerable inside and need healing.
Walking together is a cornerstone of the Church and it is something we can ask ourselves: in our own lives, within our families, in our workplaces and where we spend our time, are we really able to listen and be open and inclusive to all “in the service of the Gospel”, the Pope asked the faithful.
In his homily, the Pope challenged us to “always be inclusive” in the Church and in society, “which is still marked by many forms of inequality and marginalization.”
Furthermore, in off-the-cuff remarks, Pope Francis said the exclusion of migrants today in the Church and society is “scandalous” and “criminal.”
Learn to give thanks to God
In the Gospel, only one leper, realizing that he was healed, turned around to praise God and show his gratitude, the others continuing on their way.
Pope Francis said it is the Samaritan who dares to return to Jesus in order to enter into a relationship with him to “begin a journey of thanksgiving”: Jesus himself, the Samaritan realized, is “more important than the healing he received”.
This can be a great lesson for us, the Pope continued, because we so often fall into the “unpleasant spiritual disease” of taking everything for granted, including our relationship with God.
Rather, the ability to give thanks allows us to recognize the presence of God in our lives and the importance of others, of our families.
Two holy men of faith
Recalling the examples of the two newly appointed saints, Pope Francis said each of these two holy men reminds us of “the importance of walking together and being able to give thanks.”
Both dedicated their lives to an inclusive Church without barriers, as St. Scalabrini cared greatly for migrants and St. Zatti cared greatly for the sick, taking upon himself the wounds of others.
The pope noted that today, here in Europe, there is a migration that causes “so much pain”: the migration of Ukrainians fleeing war.
In conclusion, the Pope encouraged us to ask the saints to help us “walk together, without walls of division” so that we can “cultivate this nobility of soul”, that is, gratitude.