On the 5th of October 1962 Fr. Carlo Mario Pensa the second successor of Don Orione passed away.He was a young man who after meeting Saint Luigi Orione decided to join his Congregation
In his letter “He will be a Shining Light of the Spirit of Don Orione”, Fr. Flavio Peloso tells us about this encounter.
Carlo Pensa was born on the 27th July 1886 at Scaldasole, in the province of Pavia. He met don Orione here because he came from time to time to preach and exercise his priestly ministry. He entrusted to him his life and his holy desires. Don Orione received him into the Institute of Santa Chiara in Tortona. Carlo Pensa was already 17 years old and had some experience of life and sacrifice.
Many years later he recounted how he decided on his vocation.
“Already in 1902 in Scaldasole (Pavia), my home town, I used to hear about don Orione as if he were a saint. For some time I had been thinking of dedicating my whole life to the religious life. I felt I had been called in the light of a fact that I had always considered providential. I had gone to Pavia to buy some things. I saw on a stall with used books a copy of l’Apparecchio alla morte. (In preparation for death). I bought it. It cost me one lira if I remember correctly. When I got home, I put it on the mantle piece of our kitchen where we used to gather on the winter evenings, and I got to reading it. It was that reading of it that made me understand with great intensity that “porro unum est necessarium” (only one thing is necessary) (c.f. Lk 10:41).
I met don Orione in the October of 1902 when he came to visit my home town of Scaldasole through the invitation of my parish priest. With four of my friends we went to visit him in the presbytery in the evening. We were all intent on giving our lives to God.
The following morning I went to confession to don Orione. I made a general confession. He listened to my sins with eyes lowered and did not interrupt me. Then he showed me the crucifix which was on the kneeler: it was of bronze and at the edges had shiny studs. “See” he said “this is the crucifix that St John Bosco had before the penitents when he was confessing them. How many people must have wept for their sins before this crucifix!”. He added a few words to encourage me to have a living sorrow and reminding me of death, judgement, hell and the passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Then I attended his Mass and I remember that he then gave an explanation of the gospel that made a lasting impression on all who heard it. The encounter was so powerful that the following year and exactly on 14th October 1903 I entered the Little Work of Divine Providence. ”.
You can read the whole letter on the following link: http://www.donorione.org/Public/ContentPage/content.asp