Tag Archives: Luigi Squarcia

Fr Luigi Squarcia who united his suffering with Christ’s, meets the Lord

LSquarcia2.jpgLast November I posted a story about a priest, Father Luigi Squarcia, 66, a priest of the Diocese of Viterbo, who was living with Lou Gehrig’s Disease relating that Father Luigi was determined not to be defined by the ravages of a disease, nor to give into the nihilism of sickness and forthcoming death. What he did was remarkable: Father Luigi lived as a true Christian. He gathered up his sufferings for the life of the Mystical Body of the Church and gave them to the Lord in the person of Pope Benedict.

I received word today from friends of his letting me know that Father Luigi died on Wednesday and his funeral is today. My correspondent said that his funeral was concelebrated by four bishops. “He was loved by everyone and a real priest, since he offered and prayed until the last the minute.” I hope that can be said of me when I meet the Lord face to face. In his funeral homily Bishop Chiarinelli likened Father Luigi to Job: tested and found faithful. The bishop also noted that Father’s life was courageous, full of hope and complete in the Cross of Christ.
Providential that I receive this note from Italy about Father Luigi’s death because in my Christian Anthropology class these last days we’ve been speaking of suffering, uniting our suffering with that of Christ’s for the salvation of the world. We’re reading John Paul’s Salvifici Doloris and CS Lewis’ The Problem of Pain trying to understanding the mystery of suffering and pain and how it is redemptive and has radical meaning in a world that rejects suffering and meaning.
Offer a prayer for Father Luigi Squarcia who, indeed, did not squander the gift of suffering.
O God, Who did raise Thy servant Luigi Squarcia to the dignity of priest in the apostolic priesthood, grant, we beseech Thee, that he may be joined in fellowship with Thine Apostles forevermore.
I ask you to pray for a friend, also a priest, Father David Borino, who living with the same disease as Father Luigi.
In the above picture, courtesy of the sisters of the Immaculate Heart Monastery in Acquapendente, has Father Luigi walking with Archbishop Boccardo praying the rosary. In 2005, while processing with the Blessed Sacrament to conclude a Marian year, Father felt a change in feeling in his arms.

Not Squandering illness: Terminally ill priest meets with Pope, offers sufferings for the Church

Father Luigi Squarcia.jpg

The Catholic News Agency ran this brief article yesterday (11/19/2009).
It captured my mind and heart, like it did for others, because I know two
people with Lou Gehrig’s disease (and one is also a priest) and another priest
who’s living with MS. The courage, love and patience these men have witnessed
is incredible. At least I think so.

Father Luigi
Squarcia, a pastor in the Italian town of Acquapendente who has suffered from
Lou Gehrig’s disease for the last four years, met with Pope Benedict XVI on
Wednesday and offered his “sufferings for the good of the Church.”

After the
meeting with the Holy Father in Paul VI Hall, Father Squarcia said, “I came to offer
the Pope my sufferings for the good of the Church
. I am here, for the
first time, after years of working with the parishioners and the children at
our school.”

Now, he told L’Osservatore Romano, “I can no longer move my arms
or legs and I know I will lose my speech and later maybe the ability to
breathe.”  He noted that more people than ever are coming to him for the
Sacrament of Reconciliation

Lou Gehrig’s disease is a serious neuromuscular
disorder that causes muscle weakness, disability and eventually death.

*Father Luigi in a 2004 photo.

If you
want a keener sense of what Father Luigi is speaking of when he says I am came
offer my sufferings for the Church, then I would suggest you read Pope John Paul II’s 1984 encyclical, Salvifici
, where he deals with notions of suffering and how it can be redemptive. That is, how suffering can be useful for the salvation of the work if we unite
our suffering to that of Christ’s. Putting suffering to good use otherwise it will eat you alive and deaden you affectively and spiritually. If not redemptive then it’s all-consuming and verging on nihilistic.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
coat of arms



Humanities Blog Directory