Celebration of St. Richard Pampuri ‘s Jubilee Year
Closure of the Lombardy-Veneto Provincial Canonical Visitation
The Closure of the Lombardy-Veneto Provincial Canonical Visitationwas celebratedon Sunday, 16 February in Trivolzio, and the Province used the event to celebrate St. Richard Pampuri’s Jubilee Year which had been inaugurated by the Bishop of Pavia on 1 May, 2019, and will run until its closure on the same day in 2020.
The key event was the celebration of Mass in the Parish Church of Trivolzio, which houses the mortal remains of St. Richard Pampuri. The Superior General, Brother Jesús Etayo, presided at the Mass, which was concelebrated by the Provincial Superior, Brother Massimo Villa and a large number of priests from the Province and the parish. The ceremony was attended by a large group of Brothers and Co-workers from the Province, as well as many other parishioners and pilgrims who had come to visit St. Richard Pampuri.
In his homily, the Superior General thanked everyone for their presence, especially all the members of the St John of God Family of the Lombardy-Veneto Province, the mayor and the parish priest of Trivolzio, for their welcome and hospitality.
He recalled that a Jubilee Year is a time of grace and mercy that the Church bestows upon a group of believers from a diocese, a Religious Institute or a particular church, on the occasion of some special date. In this case, the request had been made by the Bishop of Pavia, Mgr Conrado Sanguineti, jointly with the parish priest of Trivolzio, in which the Order of St. John of God had participated in a practical way through the Lombardy-Veneto Province. The Apostolic Penitentiary had replied to the request by issuing a Decree dated 27 October 2018, granting a Plenary Indulgence to all the faithful participating in the Jubilee celebrations and praying before the tomb of the saint between 1 May 2019 and 1 May 2020, on condition of confession, communion and praying for the intentions of the Holy Father.
For the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God, the Jubilee Year is a moment of grace to become ever more familiar with our saint, who was a magnificent example of hospitality, simplicity and coherence; he is a model who astounds us by his youth, his work, and the way he turned small acta into great deeds, because they were performed with great love.
The Superior General declared that St. Richard Pampuri was "the saint of hospitality." Above all, he was a hospitaller in the Gospel and John-of-God sense. He always lived his life in the experience God's love and mercy, in which he had certainly been educated. This ensured that he was able to understand and project his life at all times at the service of God and his Kingdom, through simple and humble, but total, self-giving to the sick and to those who needed him. He knew how to travel along the path to holiness by living every moment of his life in humility and simplicity, offering all of us a model of holiness in our daily humdrum existence. He did so as a young student, and continued to do so as a doctor at Morimondo, culminating in becoming a Brother of St. John of God, wherever the superiors sent him. His heart radiated so much hospitality thanks to his scientific skills and his goodness, that ever more people would come to seek him out.
At the end of the Eucharist, Brother Massimo Villa thanked the Superior General, General Councillor Brother Pascal Ahodegnon, and the Superior of the General Curia Community, Brother Dario Vermi, for their presence and their company on that very special day. He particularly thanked St. Richard Pampuri for his help during the Canonical Visitation that had just been concluded, and committed the life and future of the Province to Saint Richard’s protection.
After Mass and the recitation of the Jubilee Year prayer to St. Richard Pampuri, everyone proceeded to venerate him and present their intentions to him before his mortal remains in his chapel in the parish church.
The Closure of the Canonical Visitation was followed by a fraternal supper at the St Richard Pampuri Provincial Retirement Home, for all the Brothers, Sisters and Co-workers who had come to Trivolzio from all the Communities and Centres in the Province.