At 103 years and 3 months, Mother Margherita Riolo concluded her earthly life. He finished his earthly life and began, at the same time eternal life, which never ends. And if we think about it, it really is like this, wanting to take the opportunity to remember that this truth is the only exception, which contradicts what is commonly said: that is, that everything on earth has a beginning also has an end. For eternal life this is not the case, because it already begins on this earth and if we think about it well, we can grasp the profound significance of meaning. As happened in Mother Margherita Riolo, who turned 103 on 10 October, still surrounded by the affection and esteem of many even if, unlike what happened on the anniversary of the centenary, without the firing of firecrackers, but still with a solemn and very participated concelebration, which was followed, in the great refectory of the Seminary, by a rich detail, a sweet moment of joyful fraternity, for the many people agreed. On this occasion, once again the religious family of the Disciples of the Redeemer in the Christian Community in the World who reside in Favara in the premises of the former Minor Episcopal Seminary, together with large representations of the faithful from the parishes of Favara and also from other towns of our archdiocese, still wanted to thank the Lord for the fulfillment of the 103 and for all the good that the Lord has done using you.
We recall that the Disciples of the Redeemer, precisely in her, Mother Margherita Riolo, have their main point of reference, founded in the diocese on 8 December 1988, supported in this foundation by the younger Nella Azzara, Vera Lo Presti, Gisella Lupo, from consider co-founders. A foundation that followed a path of several decades that had been marked by a spiritually strong moment, such as a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Montalto. A pilgrimage led by the then archbishop of Messina HE Mons. Francesco Fasola, a man of holy life who, among other things, from the beginning of the second half of the fifties until 1960 had been in Agrigento, coadjutor bishop of the archbishop- Bishop Mons. Giovanni Battista Peruzzo. Those who know Mother Margherita Riolo well, such as Sister Nella Azzara for example, give this judgment: “Open and cordial, engaging, always attentive to the signs of the times and the needs of people, Margherita Riolo, this little great woman, lived as a protagonist in the Agrigento reality of her time, fully inserted in ecclesial and social life”.
Graduated in classics in 1942 with a thesis on the Cathedral of S. Gerlando, the young Margherita lived her youth with a spirituality guided by the worthy Liguorini Fathers of S. Alfonso or the Redemptorists of Agrigento. The Redemptorist Father Salvatore Giammusso, of revered memory of her, her Spiritual Father, has greatly influenced her journey of faith.
Mother Margherita Riolo, was born in Agrigento on October 10, 1919, daughter of Giuseppe Riolo and Giovanna Montana, parents from two excellent families of Naro and Agrigento, baptized on November 11, 1919, as well as with the name of Margherita, also with that of Maria-Marta . And someone who has done research says that his maternal grandfather Emanuele Montana was a friend of Blessed Giacomo Cusmano. Always engaged in Catholic Action, and then also in the ACLI, and therefore very active also in the socio-political field during the troubled post-war period, when in the Italian and Agrigento scenario in particular, the opposition between Catholics and Marxists was strong. However, you have never neglected your commitment to the weakest groups, without looking at the Party banner; and therefore precisely for this reason you dedicated so much time and so many years, in the material and spiritual assistance of the prisoners, then in the prison of S. Vito and then also in Petrusa. And, even if there is so much more to say, we’ll stop here. Because now is the time for prayer, entrusting her to the Lord, to her love and to her mercy, who will want to welcome her immediately into her Kingdom, as a good and faithful servant, who has worked to make the best use of the talents received .