On Tuesday 19 December 2017, at the ‘Casa Betania delle Beatitudini’ Community of Seveso on the outskirts of Milan, Msgr. Mario Del Pini, the Archbishop of Milan, presided over the solemn liturgy of prayer for the opening of the cause of beatification and of canonisation of the Servant of God, Brother Ettore Boschini (1928-2004), a Camillian religious.
The ‘formal-juridical-canonical’ moment of the opening of the inquiry on the fame of holiness of Brother Ettore was organised by Msgr. Ennio Apeciti, the episcopal delegate for the causes of saints; by Don Marco Gianola, the promoter of justice; by Don Simone Lucca, a notary and actuary; and by Dr. Consolini, the postulator of the cause.
The large chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima, which was built by Brother Ettore himself, welcomed the civil dignitaries of the local area; the parish priests of the deaconate of Seveso with various representatives of their Christian authorities; many Camillian religious, above all from the Camillian Province of North Italy – we were received with the simple and sincere style of Sister Teresa Martino who continues the work created by Brother Ettore for providing help to poor, very poor and socially excluded people…; by volunteer workers of this institution; and above all by people who inside those Spartan walls have found a refuge, food, but above all the experience of a ‘home’ and a ‘family’…
The mayor of the city of Seveso, in his speech of welcome to those who were present, observed that his community had been marked in recent history by painful facts, such as the poisoning by dioxin (of about forty years ago) which produced death, suffering, pollution…and thus sadness and a lack of confidence: the presence of Brother Ettore and his community of welcome, the ‘Casa Betania delle Beatitudini’, helped to redirect the widespread sensitivity of the citizens towards those values of humanity and sharing that make every man and every woman better. With great clarity, the Archbishop referred to the meaning of the liturgical and canonical moments that we experienced: the opening of the ‘process about the life, the virtues and the fame of holiness in ordinary matters and in extraordinary facts in general,’ of Brother Ettore.
Still today, why do we narrate the stories of the saints? Whereas we tell stories to children to help them to overcome their fears and to help them sleep and dream, the Church continues to remind adults of the stories of saints for the opposite reason: to ‘wake them up’, to shake them, and to make them passionate about God and the needs of men and women.
Brother Ettore tells us about his personal experience of God and of people in need who require attention and care; he reminds us of the ‘practicability’ of good; and he spurs us to express in our daily lives the sensitivity and the pragmatism of the exemplary tale of the Good Samaritan, that lived by St. Camillus de Lellis himself.
The Church turns the lamps to certain men and women (saints and blesseds) in order to remind us that ‘good is possible’, that ‘good is practicable’, and that ‘good can be done by everybody’.
In addition, Brother Ettore, with his biography of a Camillian consecrated Christian, also reminds us that the ‘secret’ by which to nourish the flame of charity, where there is a risk that very hard work, and interior and exterior forms of resistance, will weaken the impetus and the passion of love and charity: prayer, adoration of the Eucharist, and genuine and filial intense devotion towards the Virgin Mary. When worry about resources and/or structures runs the risk of suffocating the immediacy of help, and when long periods of time run the risk of suffocating the spontaneity of love, interior life, spiritual life, can constantly reactivate a circle of ‘heroic’ virtues and achieve authentic and frank witness to the love of God for ‘every’ man and for the ‘whole’ man.
Prayer for the Beatification of the Servant of God Brother Ettore Boschini
(with the ecclesiastical approval of 23.02.2010)
Who said to your disciples:
“Love one another as I have loved you”,
You, who brought forth amongst us Brother Ettore,
So that by his example of joyous charity,
He would stimulate us to imitate you,
God of charity and peace,
Give us his same goodness,
His untiring readiness to help,
His constant amazement,
When contemplating your countenance,
Your daily taking care,
Of each one of us.
Grant that, like him,
We, too, can remember,
That you call us ‘friends’,
In order to make us capable every day,
Of being neighbours to every man,
Above all if poor, sick, marginalised.
Grant, O Lord, if you so wish,
That Brother Ettore soon may be called blessed,
That he may pray for us,
And that he may obtain for us the grace that we ask you for, with faith.