Today, we celebrate the memory of our beloved Co-founder, Father Joseph Marchetti, for whom we can well attribute the Gospel text of the Beatitudes:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you”.
Fr. Joseph was a faithful disciple who allowed himself to be sanctified by Jesus Christ, a disciple who knew the love of God and followed Him with all his heart, with all his mind and with all his will. Still, officially, we know that we cannot call Fr. Joseph Marchetti holy, however, but we know his intense life of holiness; being a saint is a mission, a project of the Father to reflect and incarnate, at a given moment in history, an aspect of the Gospel. In fact, he assumed the evangelical imperative, I was a stranger and you welcomed me as a compass of his life, devoting himself totally to the migratory world, he made migrants the center of his life and, moved by this, he did not measure efforts to find any means to reduce at least the suffering of the settlers, in the farmland of his time, in the state of St. Paul.
Today, we are looking at him as a model, of those who have incarnated the Scalabrinian charism. We treasure the orientation to centralize our life in the One who was his most precious asset and who made a constituent the fourth vow: do not lose even a quarter of time of his time, being driven by the love of God, he lived his existence available for God and for his brothers. No one has a greater love than this: to give his life for his friends, so, here, it is ultimately the model of holiness that Fr. Joseph left us to be friends of God and of neighbor until the end of his gifted life.
Our co-founder in just two years of life, has created works that still alive today; his audacity, his fervor, his enthusiasm, his apostolic zeal were expressions of his belief that He, the Lord was present in the smallest, in the poorest, in the marginalized; he has given himself body and soul to God and to his brothers, sanctifying himself and his life made up of many small daily details and has left us a missionary lifestyle, ready to the intimacy with the Lord and of service to the brothers, so that every instant of Fr. Joseph was a spark of love, a step for sanctification.
Dear Sisters, Formands and friends, desire the Lord, through the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God, Fr. Joseph Marchetti, that each of us can welcome the Word of God and let ourselves be transformed by the same Word and to be in the world of migrations, signs of meekness, humility, goodness, peace, consolation: just as Fr. Joseph Marchetti, Venerable servant of God. In a particular way, we entrust to our Co-founder, the provincial governments, those who are concluding their mission today and the new governments that today begin the mission for the next four years: that they may be assisted and be led by the Holy Spirit.
Happy Feast Day to all.