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Don Milani Had 'a Totalizing Faith'

Francis Recalls the Italian Priest and Educator’s Faith Enabled Him to Serve and Give Himself to Others

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Don Milani had a “totalizing faith, which allowed him to give himself completely to the Lord.”
The Holy Father said these words about the Italian priest and educator this afternoon, in the Italian town of Barbiana, in the Diocese of Florence. Pope Francis prayed at the tomb of Don Lorenzo Milani, today, June 20, 2017, during his day trip to pray at Don Milani’s tomb in Barbiana, as well as that of Don Primo Mazzolari in Bozzolo.
In his remarks to Barbiana’s faithful, the Holy Father focused on the life and legacy, notably in education, of Milani in the northern Italian city.
He told the people of Barbiana that they were “witnesses to his passion as an educator and his desire to reawaken the human aspect in persons in order to open them to the divine.”
Education, for Don Milani, the Pope suggested, was the “concrete expression” of his priesthood.
His priesthood, which most importantly was a fruit of his faith–the Jesuit Pope underscored–was the motivation before his ‘drive’ in education.
“His was a totalizing faith,” the Pope said, “which allowed him to give himself completely to the Lord.”
To the priests gathered, Francis said, be “men of faith” and “love the Church and make her loved by showing her to be a mother for all, especially for the poorest and most fragile.”
Saying Don Milani was a “priest who was as transparent and hard as a diamond,” Francis said: “He wished to give back the word to poor people, because without language there is neither dignity nor freedom and justice.”
The Holy Father went on to thank all educators for their “service towards promoting the growth of new generations.”
Explaining why he wished to pray before the late priest’s tomb, Pope Francis said, “I wished to pay homage to his memory,” to “a priest who witnessed to how, in the gift of self to Christ, we discover our brothers and sisters in their moment of need, and we serve them.”
 

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Staff Reporter

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