A testimony of Fr. Santo, chaplain of the hospital of Bologna.

A few days ago something happened that struck me a great deal. I had met Marco and Simona last year, during my rounds at the hospital, Saint Orsola. Simona had had an extra-uterine pregnancy with an inevitable miscarriage and she was extremely sad. Her husband, Marco, was by her side and tried to console her, saying, “Look, Father came just to see you.” I chatted a bit with them and Simona received the Eucharist. Among the things that we spoke about was mountain biking: I discovered, in speaking with them that Marco, like myself, is a passionate cycler, and so I left my number with him, telling him to get in touch with me if he ever wanted to ride together.

And he did call me, a few days later. During the course of the year, we saw each other many times to take rides and we became friends. I even went to their house a few times, to speak with them and share their preoccupations about the hard path that they had chosen to take up, that of adoption, which was concluded positively just a short time ago. During this time in which our friendship was deepening, I invited them to help me with an outing with the group of the Cavalieri (Knights), the middle school group that I lead. This experience struck them greatly: they told me later that they had never seen young people like ours and even told me that they will send their son to Malpighi, the school where I teach with some other adults who lead the group.

And in this way, we arrive at the fact that struck me so much. I was at their house for dinner. To my surprise, Simona reminded me that we had met each other exactly one year ago that day. But, above all, she reminded me of what I had said, the very simple things I had said, during that brief visit in the hospital. The day before our first meeting was the 14th of September, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. I had told her that she, like Jesus, was carrying a cross apparently unbearable, but that after she would have seen the Resurrection. The second thing I said was that the child they lost was their child for all intents and purposes, that they had to give him a name and evoke his intercession in prayer since he was guarding them from where he was in heaven. “Santo, in that moment, it was as if you had baptized him!” Simona exclaimed.

It struck me that a word of mine, said almost in passing, had marked her life for an entire year, in the midst of ulterior struggles as they faced the fact that they would probably not be able to have natural children. They were not words that I had thought through and prepared, but words that sprang from my experience and from that which I have encountered. Words that I said without any pomp, at the bed of a person so sick that they cannot even respond. Words that, when I was reminded of them, revealed to me who I am and revealed the affection that sustains me.

I became aware that, even within all of my many limits, Christ manifests himself through me, when I obey to what is asked of me. This is what I desire most: that, through myself and the ministry that was given to me undeservedly, Christ might make himself known to the others.

 

Foto Yuri Virovets

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