It is an epistolary of “Peace and Hope” kept in thepersonal archive by Monsignor Michele Pennisi. It’s a treasure of spirituality and charity the transcription of letters of Brother Biagio Conte to the archbishop emeritus of Monreale by Anna Manno and Don Giovanni Vitale. Starting from the meeting with young people who “are the future and hope”. “Do not bring flowers to the church in Fratel Blaise! Donate to a poor man on the street, buy medicine for a needy! Thank you”. This is the appeal of the Mission of hope and charity, the citadel of the poor founded by Biagio Conte. THEthe lay missionary who died last Thursday. And whose funeral will take place tomorrow in Cathedral. These days there are many faithful who go to the funeral home set up in the church in via Decollati for a homage and greetings to the “Angel of the poor”.
“Whoever writes them is a useless little servant brother Biagio, who sincerely thanks her. But above all there are many poor people who thank her. For fruits and the many gifts we are receiving from the vineyard of our Lord Jesus Christ – underlines Brother Biagio – The brothers welcomed in their poverty, plant a seed in this way that it becomes a big tree. Which is capable of filling the mission of many fruits. Our Bishop Michael you blessed the harvest of the first grain grown by the mission. One step of God’s word that’s exactly what it says. ‘I will bless all his collected, I will satisfy his Poor with bread’ (Psalm 131). Pray for us. The neighbors will understand and the distant ones will hear. And stay close to us to face this mission. It is difficult but it fills us with immense joy and hope in seeing the many brothers and sisters whom society defines as incapable, a refusal and a reject. Instead we see them engaged in many jobs that the earth offers“.
Useless little servant
Brother Biagio signs himself “little useless servant” And he wrote five years ago: “Now, dearest Bishop Michele, I have to charge you with a thought that I strongly nourish inside my heart. I feel insistently that I continue to carry the Holy Cross. In this delicate moment of our suffering society and oppressed humanity. I feel I am evangelizing, of reaching out to those who are disheartened and have lost hope. I remember you the journey made on foot from Palermo. From the Cathedral where I entrusted myself to the Good Lord with prayer. Then I went to Monreale in the Cathedral. For the Face of Jesus to protect me on long walk. And as pilgrims we have entrusted the shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows at the Calvary of the Crosses the difficult pilgrimage. Under these precious Blessings we have carried the Holy Cross throughout southern Italy. On foot up to Rome to St. Peter’s. And at the meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis who encouraged me to return to Palermo in the mission. Now I feel like I’m walking all over Northern Italy. A precious stage will be the earthquake victims. And from all those citizens, religious, responsible, politicians, professional sinners and criminals. So that they redeem themselves from the wrong done. And they convert to return to God and to our neighbour. You pray for us so that we can meet to the many needs of citizens who ask for help at the gates of the mission”.
“I embraced Pope Francis as he embraces everyone and he encouraged me so much to return to Palermo and to the mission that the Good Lord has entrusted to me – says brother Biagio – Dearest Bishop Michele, I no longer wanted to go back to Palermo, they always hinder me in helping the poor instead of giving to the poor, spaces and structures are taken away; but the Good Lord does not abandon his poor and has done justice. After penance, prayer, sacrifice and humiliation, here is the answer they restored the structure they wanted to remove and relieved the impressive sums that weighed on the poor 20 years of expenses never understood and understood! I confirm that the Cross is painful but Glorious and very Joyous, and with you and the precious Church of Monreale I feel like sharing this Joy given by Christ Jesuscrucified, died and Risen for our good and that of all humanity.
dignity and recovery
“It is sad to know that even today the Holy Cross: they offend her, they want to put her aside, even worse they want to remove her – writes brother Biagio -. But me instead I carry it and I don’t give it up at the cost of my life. I ask you for many prayers and blessings, supporting me in this difficult moment of the mission path; the poor find no helpare not often considered but it is also serious to hinder, prevent those who try to help them. It is absurd and inconceivable to take away hope, those precious spaces for rgive them dignity, recovery and reintegration. I have abandoned myself to prayer and fasting so that the sheds of the former Basile Foundry can be returned to us: the two entrepreneurs gave up on the monumental project giving it back to the poor. Earthly justice is done by men, but I entrust myself to the Good Lord waiting for it divine justice“.
Letter dated 04-14-2014
His Excellency Bishop Michele Pennisi: who writes to you is brother Biagio and from the whole mission of Speranza e Carità, to wish you a happy and Holy Easter to you, to the Curia and to the citadel of Monreale. Dearest Bishop Michele, I still have a strong and lively meeting with you at the Curia of Monreale, for the providential Terra di Tagliavia to help the poor feed themselves and to help them by restoring their dignity, work and reintegration. […]
Thank you His Excellency Bishop Michele the citadel of Monreale has always been generous and altruistic in history, even in difficult moments we remember a historical event when Monreale gave the land to the Albanian refugees, of which today a real village was born, well integrated into the our; their culture with ours, their language with our Italian language, their faith with the Christian one, these are the fruits of hospitality, but above all of faith, hope and charity. […]
Peace and Hope
Useless little servant