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Saint Of The Day 16 May: Andrea Bobola

A zealous Jesuit, Andrea Bobola of distant canonisation, at the time of Pope Pius XI and not to be forgotten

Being a missionary ad gentes imposes first and foremost a strenuous and constant effort towards oneself, worse than battling with one’s waistline.

Andrea Bobola was one of those ardent missionaries who was not afraid to break through, making that voice that cries out in the desert.

A nice nomination for Andrea Bobola: the soul hunter

There is The Kite Hunter, Khaled Hosseini’s novel, and The Soul Hunter.

The goal is somewhat the same as in the fictional and real story: to help each other redeem themselves, to reconcile with the world.

Andrea Bobola shouted it from the rooftops, he was a furious preacher.

He would be the real shouter where the news to be proclaimed was Jesus Christ made man for us and who was not afraid.

Andrea Bobola’s lethal moment between the bombs and the mercenaries

Why run away, go far away?

Here he chooses to remain beside those who suffer, dying with him.

These are the perhaps forgotten saints repeated in so many, hundreds and thousands, flashes of wars.

Men slaughtered in the flesh but not in the spirit who immolate their holy cause.

Unfortunately, here too, the storm of Russia rages like a cyclone for a peace that is still struggling to thrive.

The only absurd reason is the same, yesterday as today, and is to be found in the rational, calculating nature of man.

If in the first covenant, or old testament, our forefathers also made pacts and bargains, in a more cumbersome way today.

And one always expects the undeniable intervention of diplomacy with its arts of dialogue.

There was no escape for Andrew Bobola and between the two disputants (Russia and Poland) he was killed and thus martyred by the Cossacks.

This happened on 16 May 1657, on the Feast of the Ascension, but it seems so close, given the ruinous times we are living through.

He told his executioners that he wanted to die in the faith for which he was born.

Would we do the same?

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Dicastero delle cause dei santi

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