The Servant of God
Our Bishop presents the figure and the work of Servant of God Don Lombardi
We will have many occasions to speak about of the Servant of God Don Francesco Lombardi, founder of the Bussana Sanctuary, recalling biographical events, illustrating his works and giving notice of the developments of the Cause of Beatification.
In this debut of our site we like to present him, the Servant of God, by making available to readers the wonderful homily with which our Bishop Msgr. Antonio Suetta has offered us, with his figure and his work, an exhaustive picture illustrating all that is essential to get an idea of his holiness and charisma.
The Homily dates back to the 93rd anniversary of the death of the Servant of God and was pronounced during a solemn Concelebration to which was also attended by the Postulator of the Cause of Beatification Father Josè Carlos Briñon
"Where, then, I will not save it to labor, yes, it is in the bed of the dying, oh, here I am always ready at all times when it winds and when it rains or it is hot or cold, both day and night . Oh, here it will be my delight that the sick and the sick hours of the sick leave me, but there is that I will double my efforts to disappoint those of the enemy community being too persuaded how easy it is in the last ones that a soul is saved or He loses eternally. If God, and God freed us, was cruel and cruel to sow the flock of sorrow and death, oh do not be afraid that the shepherd would not go away, but fortunately if his sheep could die just that: “bonus pastor dat animam suam pro ovibus suis ".
It seemed to me nice, almost necessary, to start this common reflection by resounding in this community that it was her own words of Don Francesco Lombardi. These words he pronounced during the sermon on the occasion of his entry into this parish of Bussana, where he then remained for 47 years as a guide and as a pastor.
These words are just a passage. Practically his homily at the entrance summed up the principal duties of the Parish Priest, and Don Lombardi listed them by saying that he would commit with all the strength and with all the energies in the faithful fulfillment of those duties.
In the passage that I chose Don Lombardi refers to the good-pastor's evangelical image: we have just heard the passage of the evangelist John in whom Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd and gives as a criterion for distinguishing the Good Shepherd knowledge of the flock and more Still the willingness to give life to the sheep.
Beginning his mission in this Parish Don Lombardi put in the hands and in the heart of God the strong intention of imitating the example and following the teaching of Jesus the Good Shepherd. For these purposes he remained faithful throughout his period of service.
If we look at his life (I have just approached her figure) we realize that, as an unmistakable sign of authenticity, there is the style of God that is to choose the humblest people, almost surprise compared to Expectations of the same people and others, for his mysterious designs.
We celebrate this Eucharist this evening, which in itself is the thanksgiving, to say our gratitude to God for the figure, the gift, the person, the service, the testimony of Don Francesco Lombardi, a priest who makes us shine Diocesan church with the light of its sanctity. Let us celebrate this Eucharist to thank God because in Don Francesco Lombardi he has shown us how he has fulfilled his promise, that promise we have heard today by the mouth of the prophet Ezekiel: I myself will feed my sheep, gather those who have been scattered and I will Care of them. We thank God because in this parish, and from this parish, in our Diocese and in the Church all resounded the word of God, God's gifts have fallen through the sacraments and God's tenderness and strength passed through the sacraments, Don Lombardi's pastoral work.
Yet, if we look at his life, his adventure in this parish from the very beginning (judging from an exclusively human perspective, always pretty good enough to understand things) we would say that this has happened by mistake or not as first choice , In the sense that in this parish community there had been problems (I read) related to the payment of tithes and there was a little bit of pain; And then he did not know who to send because someone had also refused, and he was chosen by him, a very young priest. In his words, in addition to the firm intention of being faithful to the example of Christ the Good Shepherd, there is also, perhaps exaggeratedly (we can say that he has known Don Lombardi's life and work), the expression of awareness of their poverty, of fragility, almost of the inadequacy of the task entrusted to them.
But this form of authentic, evangelical, just humility is really the secret that God places in the life and in the hearts of the people he chooses to accomplish his wonders and deeds in Don Lombardi's life (beyond the extraordinary experience with which he lived Daily his ordinary ministry done with love, done with punctuality, done with delicacy and done with a personal encounter and total gift) and in his parish ministry there really happened something extraordinary, which began with a painful event The event of the earthquake, and as a result of that earthquake, it is as if the church was built in its hands.
In the sermon at the start of his ministry, he said that he would have spent with all the strength also for the splendor and magnificence of the house of God. The Church in which he had begun his pastoral service was now inoperable and in his hands and in the His heart was flourished by this Shrine that he did not want to be, in his intentions, the Church strictly necessary for the Community but rather an act of thanksgiving, an act of praise to God, almost the dissolution of a vote for the protection of God, for the God's gifts, for the providence of God and at the same time dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, should be a Sanctuary from which to radiate in the Church, in the Christian people, the knowledge of the unfathomable mystery of the Heart of God, mystery of love, mystery Sacrifice, mystery of tenderness with which God reaches man.
He who was considered incapable of doing things and not doing things was done, even from the material point of view (but this is certainly the least important aspect), extraordinary things; It seems that God has taken seriously his purpose of making his home beautiful; He has done extraordinary things among people, things that only the imagination of a fiery charity could think: his service to the poor, his commitment to social promotion and fidelity continues in the star close to his people.
We have just remembered things that we have at hand, things that we could place on our lives, that is, the earthly, material, concrete aspect we say,
But in the words of Don Lombardi, which I read at the beginning, we find the other face of the medal, the other perspective that all moved in his priestly service, and what was the unmistakable seal of the presence of God in his life; He was worried about one thing only and only for what he was doing: the salvation of souls.
That is why beginning the pastoral ministry emphasized that it would not calculate the time near a dying person because he understood and believed strongly that this was a decisive step, unique in life and required all the attention, all the time, all the effort to accompany even in that last passage, the soul at the meeting with God.
To look so intense about the invisible reality, which is eternal, unlike the worldly ones, which are provisional, never distanced him from the material commitment in favor of his people, indeed it encouraged him in that commitment, But he did not lose sight of the fundamental goal of life and the path of faith.
We look at Don Lombardi as an authentic image of pastor and priest; we are entrusted with his intercession because the seeds of good that he sowed fruitfully for us in authentic Christian life; we rely on his intercession by invoking through him so many holy and good vocations from God for our Church; We are entrusted with his intercession because in our life it is always clear the reference to what really matters and that is the salvation of the soul, which is our eternal destiny. We learn to make courageous and generous choices not to miss this great gift of God.
The last thing I want to emphasize about him, a humble and strong person, is what in the language of Sacred Scripture is called "parresia", that is frankness. He was a very humble man, a man who certainly did not neglect the duty of his cultural and spiritual formation, yet a man who is faithful to what we heard in his second reading from St. Paul to his disciple Timothy: urging, insisting, recalling, teaching In any opportune and inappropriate occasion. And Don Lombardi did so, basically convinced of one thing: that it is more important to please God rather than to men; So he has never been reluctant to say the truth of God, believing that it is more right to obey God instead of men. Doing so has been loved by God, blessed by God, supported by God, and yet well-liked and loved by men
We thank God for the gift of Don Francesco Lombardi and learn from him to make fruit, by treating them with our good will, with the commitment and also with the imagination of charity the talents that God put into our hands,
We know Don Lombardi is now in Paradise. Citing the Holy Curse of Ars, he said that we would have time to rest in Heaven. Now he is to enjoy the gift of God and certainly watch over this community on this diocesan church; We thank God for having given him and leaving us also now with his fraternal intercession for our journey in life and faith.