sabato 9 gennaio 2016


First Encounter with Father Piamarta - By Pier Giordano Cabra

Chapter ten

1. On June 16, 1912 came a triumph. At the Artigianelli Institution they celebrated the twentyfifth anniversary of the foundation. Lots of recognitions, letters and telegrams came from all over; lots of alumni came; the civil and religious authorities were present; testimonies of the tremendous good done abounded. Everybody applauded and joined in the celebration. The foundation of this magnificent Institution was obtained through effort and pain, sweat and sacrifice, but had been crowned by a great number of dear young boys, grown up as true Christians.

2. The Institution by now was really beautiful and impressive. From the first house back then to the present, many more buildings had been added or completed with extending arcades, and a beautiful church in 1907. Father Piamarta listened, but he seemed distant. His mind was on the benefactors without whom he could not have done anything. He admired their generosity and also the confidence they put in him despite his lack of titles or prior success. “Gratitude has to be the first virtue of this Institution” he would repeat continuously. He remembered them all, especially the siblings: Muzzarelli, Marietta and Angelo, and also all the other humble persons who dedicated their lives for his boys, beginning with Filippa Freggia, the mother of the early days.

3. He was grateful for the nice group of priests and religious brothers that surrounded him and guaranteed the continuation of his work. He knew that this family was the best gift that Our Lord could have given him. He perceived that they were graced with a true priestly spirit, active, practical, and sensitive to the poor. “Now your servant can leave in peace” he whispered in a low voice “because my eyes saw your liberation,” prepared for many young boys and guaranteed also after my departure.

4. His dearest friend, the one from the adventure at Maddalena Mountain--do you remember him?--wrote to him a few days before: “your sensitive soul deserves the most affectionate admiration from all our fellow citizens. You have rightly enjoyed an early paradise”. “The paradise in heaven may be” answered Father Piamarta, but “purely in the human sense the work here gave me a lot of suffering, tribulation, terrible pain, and all kinds of disillusionment.

5. Truly, among these difficulties, Providence guided and helped him. He recognized that this work was not desired by him but by the One Who “provides for the least of His sons”. The One Who chose him as poor priest “a stain of ink at the bottom of the golden book of charity” to prove that we are little instruments in God’s almighty hands. For this he recommends “not counting only on the human calculations” but “always trusting the certain help of God” who will keep His work in our lives until we consider it His work.

6. Looking forward in time, Father Piamarta was sure that his many efforts were not useless and that he “a lazy and useless servant” would be made more useful “by the heart of Blessed Jesus,” when in heaven he would follow better “the continuous prosperity of the work” that Our Lord put in his hands and which he was at last ready to give into the hands of his successors.

7. The applause made him laugh, but he thought of those young boys he would have helped, but he could not since they did not come to him though he waited for them. “Now is the time to pray more for them” Father Piamarta stated. “If I have not seen them today, I will see them in heaven”. He entered into paradise on the 25th of April, 1913.

 Traduzione a cura di Mary Levine e Matteo Toschi

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