Saturday, May 5, 2012

Don Orione and Fr. Vaccari S.J: Two Friends with the Same Ideal

In his letter "Only one thing is needed", Fr. Flavio Peloso tells us a very nice story about the friendship and estimation between Don Orione and the famous biblical lecture, Fr. Alberto Vaccari, SJ.

Thinking about a realization of Martha and Mary, I recall what Cardinal Angelo Sodano narrated recently about Don Orione and Father Vaccari. 
Cardinal Angelo Sodano

“I was preparing my doctorate in theology at Rome, at the Pontifical Gregorian University. It was the spring of 1952 and I had called on Father Vaccari, S.J., the famous biblical scholar, the author of many of the texts we were studying. Well on in years, he spoke fondly of his place of birth, the Diocese of Tortona in Piedmont. He then went on to talk about another great personality of his homeland, Don Orione, now Saint Luigi Orione, ending thus: “He really has done good things, he really has served the Church of today. Instead, I have always had to work on paper, dealing with the Hebrew, Greek and Latin languages and without direct contact with people”. 

Fr. Vaccari and Pope John XXIII

His words moved me – Cardinal Sodano goes on – because shortly before I had read in the life of Don Orione that the Saint of Tortona used to say, speaking about his fellow citizen and friend: “How much good can Fr Vaccari accomplish through teaching at the Pontifical Biblical Institute. How many people can thus know the Word of God better and live it. I, instead, must be busy every day in much more practical issues, at the service of many youths and many poor people!”[1]

Don Orione at San Filippo School (Rome)
Two great and holy priests who, at the age of twenty, had signed in blood a challenge: 1° Who would directly save more souls; 2° Who will be more holy”. Both, in a different way, were busy and set on the “only one thing is needed”: Jesus[2].
 You can read the whole letter, please visit:  

[1] L'Osservatore Romano, 3,12,2005, p. 5.
[2]I have already told you – Don Orione used to say to his seminarians – that in order to truly love the Lord, Our Lady, the holy things, the Church, one needs almost to make it a fixation… We must care only for what pertains to the love and the glory of God and of the Most Holy Virgin and the salvation of the souls… What was the attitude of Mary towards Jesus? You know it: she lived exclusively for Him! She did not speak except of Him and for Him, suffered and prayed willingly for Him; I would say, she thought what Jesus was thinking – if that were possible – in as much as her love wanted to be close in feelings, thoughts and affection to that of Jesus… to live as one, in everything, with Jesus ”. What a beautiful exegesis of the “only one thing is needed” of Lk 10, 42; from On the steps of Don Orione, p. 88.

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