Don Orione writes from Chile to a woman in Genoa, telling her about his first journey in an airplane, “flying over the “Andes.” This is not in order to be an adventurer or a tourist, but rather to go where Providence calls him to set up places for the poor.
The charitable houses grow in number as he passes by. Divine Providence does everything.
Even by means of the benefactors who are “the first founders.”
What about him? He has nothing to do with it. He signs himself: your poor Don Orione!
Then he adds a wonderful postscript, with a tactful thought for the sisters who are leaving.
He will be going to welcome them at the Port. Then, without realizing it, he reveals the secret of such charity: everything for Jesus!
* * *
Souls and Souls!
from Santiago de Chile, 2nd February 1936
To the good daughter of God, Miss. Maria Gambaro,
Grace and consolations from Our Lord. While I was writing to Federico, asking him to make my apologies to you because I could not reply to your letter, I see that I now have a little time, so I am writing.
As you can see, I am now in Chile, where Divine Providence has called me through this Archbishop of Santiago. He is giving me two Houses for the most neglected of the poor. One House will be for the sisters. I am well enough in health, but I do feel tired.
- My first time in an airplane.
The doctors have finally allowed me to make this journey, which I made from Mendoza to here by air, flying over the Andes at over 5000 metres of altitude. It was my first time in an airplane. Thanks be to God, I did not suffer anything.
I will soon be going back to Argentina by air. I trust in the Most Blessed Virgin to help me!
Convey my news to the Little Cottolengo and say that Divine Providence will soon be opening a Little Cottolengo in Chile: let us pray.
You see Mary, your family, the Gambaro family, has started the Little Cottolengo in Genoa. Then there was the Little Cottolengo in Milan, and after that the Little Cottolengo in Argentina, the Little Cottolengo in North America and soon there will be the Little Cottolengo in Chile. Before you and Pippo close your eyes, you will see, they will see!
What a good example for the children of Pippo and Gina!
Would you make sure that Pippo’s family reads these words that I am writing on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Tell them that I pray for them every day and that in all the Cottolengos they will always pray for the Gambaro family, the first founders, and for their descendants.
I bless and console you, your brother, Gina, Edoardo and Giovanna and the baby, Franco, Fede and Mario: each and every one of them! May God sustain your house and always bless it!
In Jesus Christ and Our Blessed Lady.
Your poor Don Orione.
P.S. Six missionary sisters are to leave; may this give us courage. I will be there to welcome them at Buenos Aires. I am sending my blessing for a safe journey: everything for Jesus!
Scr. 41. 68
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”