Don Primo Mazzolari and Don Lorenzo Milani
It seems to me the Holy Father is definitely clear when speaks about priests.
I haven't heard about these two priests before, but the fact Pope Francis singles them out seems to me consistent with what he says when he speaks to priests and seminarians on the vocation to the priesthood. Many criticize the Pope, and claim he is not supportive of priests, but his pilgrimage to the tombs of these priests suggests to me he very much loves priests and seminarians.
Don Mazzolari, the Pope said, conceived the Church going forth into world in the firm belief that that is the only way to reach out to those who do not come to Church any more.
“He was rightly described as ‘the parish priest of those who are far’ because he always loved those on the peripheries and to them dedicated his mission.
Pope Francis concluded his speech with an exhortation to all priests to “listen to the world”, to “step into the dark areas without fear because it is amongst the people that God’s mercy is incarnate.”
He urged them to live in poverty and said that the credibility of the Gospel message is in the simplicity and poverty of the Church and he reminded them always to treasure the lesson of Don Mazzolari. - VR
Recently some priests seem to have stepped into 'dark areas' and have been roundly criticized and condemned. I often think of some of the Jesuits who did so courageously throughout the history of the Society of Jesus. I think of St. Peter Claver, often criticized and the focus of suspicion, when he went to the docks and holds of ships to minister to slaves. This seems to me what is meant when the Pope calls priests to step out of their comfort zone.
Lorenzo Milani, a man he has described as “a believer, enamored of the Church” a “passionate educator” who used “original ways.”
Milani, who died in 1967, is universally acknowledged for having been an optimum interpreter of modern and contemporary pedagogy, a priest attentive to formative methods for young people, and especially alert to the needs of the poor and the rights of workers.
Milani, the Pope said, taught the importance of giving the poor the capacity to speak up for themselves, because “without the word, there’s no dignity and therefore no justice or freedom”.
A pilgrimage the Pope himself said was undertaken in the footsteps of two parish priests whose legacy he described as “scomodo” which means challenging or inconvenient, but that has left a radiant trace in their service to the Lord and to the people of God. - VR
My archdiocese is blessed with many generous, faithful priests - old and young. Priests who have sacrificed their lives for the good of the Church and salvation of souls.