Pope canonizes founder of Scalabrinians, Salesian pharmacist
By Sophie Peeters
Pope Francis presided over the beatification mass of now-Saints Bishop Giovanni Battista Scalabri and Salesian Brother Artemide Zatti in Saint Peter's Square on Sunday. The Mass was co-celebrated by Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, with fifty thousand faithful participating.
In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel of Luke which tells the story of the ten lepers who, after crying out to Jesus for mercy, were healed, with only one Samaritan realizing his healing and turned around “praising God with a loud voice” (Lk 17:15).
The Pope invited the faithful to reflect on two aspects of the Gospel: walking together and giving thanks.
The importance of walking together
Leprosy, Pope Francis noted, is a disease that isolates those ill from others, forcing those who have the illness to remain together on the “margins of social and even religious life.”
This image of solidarity within desolation is also meaningful for us to reflect upon: if we can recognize our own illness as sinners in need of God the Father’s great mercy, then we can once more become like brothers and sisters, “mindful that all of us are vulnerable within and in need of healing.”
Walking together is a key cornerstone of the Church and is something we can ask ourselves: in our own lives within our families, our workplace, and where we spend our time, are we truly capable of listening and being open and inclusive to all “in the service of the Gospel,” the Pope asked the faithful.
In his homily, the Pope challenged us to “always be inclusive” in the Church and society, “which is still marred by many forms of inequality and marginalization.”
Furthermore, in off-the-cuff remarks, Pope Francis said the exclusion of migrants today in Church and society is "scandalous" and "criminal."
Learning to give thanks to God
In the Gospel, only one leper, realizing he was cured, turned back to praise God and show gratitude, with the others going along their way.
Pope Francis said it is the Samaritan who dares to go back to Jesus in order to enter into a relationship with him to “start a journey of thanksgiving:” Jesus Himself, the Samaritan realized, is “more important than the healing he received.”
This can be a great lesson for us, the Pope continued, as so often we fall way to the “nasty spiritual disease” of taking everything for granted, including our relationship with God.
The ability to give thanks rather, allows us to recognize the presence of God in our lives and the importance of others, of our families.
Two holy men of faith
Recalling the examples of the two newly-named Saints, Pope Francis said each of these two holy men reminds us “of the importance of walking together and being able to give thanks.”
Both dedicated their lives to a Church that was inclusive and without barriers, as Saint Scalabrini cared a great deal for migrants and Saint Zatti cared greatly for the sick, taking upon himself the wounds of others.
The Pope noted how today, here in Europe, there is one migration causing "so much pain:" the migration of Ukrainians fleeing the war.
In conclusion, the Pope encouraged us to ask the Saints to help us “walk together, without walls of division” in order to be able to “cultivate that nobility of soul,” that is, gratitude.