~ by Vatican News staff reporters
In decrees approved on Saturday, May 21, Pope Francis approves the canonization of Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini and Blessed Artemide Zatti.
THE VATICAN: Pope Francis will convene a consistory to canonize Bishop Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, raising to the altars a bishop already recognized throughout the world as a patron of migrants. Scalabrini, who served as Bishop of Piacenza, Italy, in the 19th century, is the founder of the Congregations of the Missionaries of St. Charles, which have as a special charism the mission of serving migrants.
Scalabrini’s canonization was announced on Saturday at an audience granted to Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Pope Francis also approved the canonization of Artemide Zatti, an Italian layman who emigrated with his family to Argentina in the late 1800s and who became a Salesian co-worker and missionary in Patagonia. To read more, please click here
~ Vatican News, with appreciation to Sr. Diane Olmstead, MSC
From Mother Cabrini, “Italian Immigrant of the Century” by Sr. Mary Louise Sullivan, MSC, PhD:
Bishop Scalabrini, whose work on behalf of Italian emigrants to the Americas, led him to seek out Mother Cabrini’s assistance. Scalabrini and Mother Cabrini were to become the leading advocates on behalf of their brothers and sisters who were leaving Italy for distant lands to better their economic status.
It was at the time of her first trip to Rome that Mother Cabrini met Scalabrini, after having expressed to Vatican authorities her desire for papal recognition, the expansion of her institute to include a foundation in Rome and the possibility of missions in the Orient.
A letter directed to Cabrini at Rome from the pastor of Castel San Giovanni (Piacenza) mentioned Scalabrini, the man who was the single most important individual responsible for Mother Cabrini’s decision to go to America.
Scalabrini was a man of learning, piety and compassion, he demonstrated a keen pastoral awareness of the political, social and economic matters of the day and their impact on the working class. The needs of Italians emigrating abroad became a major concern for Scalabrini. He sought to aid the cause of the emigrants with is writings and public addresses.
Archbishop Corrigan of New York had read of Scalabrini’s new missionary institute of priests and asked Scalabrini to provide “good Italian priests” for the Italians of New York City. [However], after having met Mother Cabrini, Bishop Scalabrini must have decided that she and her new congregation of sisters, determined to be missionaries in fact as well as in name, were the religious women best suited to undertake the assistance of Italian immigrants in conjunction with the priests he would send to New York from Piacenza. Scalabrini wrote to Corrigan, “The sisters destined for New York will be the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, a new community, but stable and well experienced.” Chapter Four, pages 35 – 41.