𝗦𝗖𝗔𝗟𝗔𝗕𝗥𝗜𝗡𝗜'𝗦 𝗝𝗢𝗨𝗥𝗡𝗘𝗬 𝗧𝗢 𝗛𝗢𝗟𝗬𝗡𝗘𝗦𝗦
Scalabrini’s journey to his canonization began early in his life while kneeling in prayer with his mother before the crucifix and seeing in the cross the sign of the love of God and the call to holiness.
His intense yearning for holiness deepened progressively during his years as a Bishop. His ideal of holiness was offering his own person to Christ so that in his own person Christ could prolong his Incarnation and continue to love, see, speak and work in a visible and tangible way as Jesus did during his earthly life: "I live, no longer I, but Christ Jesus lives in me" (Gal 2:20).
The monthly days of recollection and his weekly confession were the moments Scalabrini attentively monitored his journey to holiness. Here are some quotes from those intense moments revealing the struggle he as a man and as Bishop faced to be faithful and diligent before God and his conscience:
1. How happy is the person who gives himself wholly to the service of God. He experiences intense joys! My God, help me! "Come, O come, Holy Spirit!"
2. I must have internal holiness. Jesus Christ is the only Priest: the priesthood is one and eternal. Every priest and, even more so, every bishop is the principal agent of Christ's priesthood. "be ye perfect!" It is a command!
3. What must I do? I must always and in everything imitate Jesus Christ. I must think like him, talk like him, work like him, live like him. O Jesus, help me. 4. That I might offer myself to him with a holy life. 5. A bishop must do violence to himself to become holy. A bishop must be a virgin, a martyr and a confessor. 6. You know that faith is the source, the foundation, the root of all justification, hence the source of all holiness: “the just man lives by faith” 7. To Fr. Zaboglio he wrote in 1895: “If you or I do not strive for holiness, our work will fail or will turn useless or almost. It is certain that our work will be blessed from heaven if we make ourselves worthy of it with holiness of life and with complete trust in God”
8. And with his missionaries in New York in 1893 he pleaded with intensity: “Help each other grow in the knowledge and love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Be holy and everything will blossom in your hands. This is my hope and prayer for you and all the rest." (1893)
Fr. Peter Polo, CS Istituto Scalabrini Bassano del Grappa VI, Italy, 2022