R. and P.

Reggio Calabria – The gaze of Jesus. Pages of Mercy (Tau Editrice), the book by Don Francesco Cristofaro, already in its fourth reprint in six months since its publication and among the most widely read spirituality books, with a preface by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, stop for the first time in Reggio Calabria at the Paoline bookshop on November 18th at 5.30 pm.

The cultural event which will be moderated by Dr. Lorenzo Festicini, President of the National Blue Institute, will be opened with greetings from the Archbishop of Reggio Calabria-Bova HE Mons. Fortunato Morrone. «Besides being the presentation of the pages of my book – Don Cristofaro explains to us – for me every appointment becomes an opportunity to meet and talk to people. In these years of pastoral ministry but also from the intense experience on social media, I have been able to see how hungry and thirsty people are to be listened to, not judged but first of all listened to, loved. He needs mercy.” Precisely in the preface to the book writes card. Comastri: «In these pages you will not find high, difficult concepts but words that come from the heart of its author, the result of a journey of growth in faith, of adherence to the Gospel, of lives met, known. In these years of priesthood Don Francesco has collected many tears, he has listened to expectations and hopes, successes and failures. Brothers and sisters in difficulty, struggling with sin or injustice, the sick, families in crisis or in difficulty, mourning and tragedies. Often, in their faces he recognized the stories told in the pages of the Gospel. In their lives he tried with simplicity and love to let the presence of Jesus enter. In some the faith was already strong, in others weak, in others still non-existent ».

The President of the National Blue Institute Cav. Lorenzo Festicini shows great sharing for the presentation of the book by Don Francesco Cristofaro. “It will be an honor for me to be the moderator of the presentation of Don Francesco’s latest work. An even greater emotion to have by our side His Excellency Mons. Fortunato Morrone Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Reggio Calabria – Bova who will open the important cultural event”. In the pages of the book everything revolves around the gaze of Jesus and the mercy he used. You will realize how this gaze changed the life of Zacchaeus, labeled a public sinner, of the female sinner, one to be stoned, of Matthew the tax collector, who has the wrath of the people upon him, of the paralytic and of many other characters in the gospel and also at the author himself, born with spastic paralysis in his legs and object of marginalization and exclusion from children’s games, from the thoughts of adults ready to label with the usual and hasty “poor thing”. “How many tears I shed – says Don Cristofaro – I could not accept the fact that a child could be excluded or be a “nuisance”.

We talk about inclusion but, unfortunately, a disabled person remains disabled for many». «Don Francesco speaks of mercy in these pages – writes card. Angelo Comastri – because he himself experienced the love of Jesus. Episodes from his life often recur: a child born with paralysis in his legs, then an adolescent who continually asks for physical healing, today a priest with disabilities but healed in heart. » (preface). «I am grateful for this invitation to the City of Reggio Calabria – concludes Don Francesco -; here there are many friends who follow me every day and it will be wonderful to meet them and get to know them personally. I am grateful to Archbishop Mons. Morrone who was also my teacher during the seminary and I am grateful to Dr. Festicini to whom I am bound by a profound relationship of esteem and friendship. I know how much Reggio loves him and every occasion is welcome to return to his city. Lorenzo Festicini, holding the office of President of the Istituto Nazionale Azzurro, tirelessly works for the protection of human rights with numerous initiatives in favor of the least and needy, in Italy and abroad. Sensitive to the problems of the social world, he has always done his utmost for the weakest and above all for peace in the world, organizing wide-ranging demonstrations and commemorations that have involved and involve the highest ecclesiastical, military and civil authorities of the state.

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