Rome, 11 May 2013: Bishop Luigi Novarese, diocesan priest and founder of the Pious
Union of the Silent Workers of the Cross, was beatified on Saturday in the Basilica
of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican’s Secretary
of State, represented the Pope and presided over the beatification ceremony.
Luigi Novarese was born in Casale Monferrato, Alessandria on 29 July 1914. At the age of nine, he was suffering from a severe form of bone tuberculosis, a disease for which at that time there was no cure and the doctors did not give hope. He then decided to write a letter to Fr Philip Rinaldi, Rector Major of the Salesians, relying on the prayers of the boys of the Oratory of Valdocco (Turin) and the intercession of St. John Bosco and Mary Help of Christians. At the age of seventeen, was discharged from the hospital Santa Corona di Pietra Ligure (Savona), completely healed. He then decided to become a doctor. But as a former patient who has discovered within himself the potential of a spiritual path that can lead to the encounter with the Risen Christ, chooses the path of the priesthood. He was ordained a priest December 17, 1938 in the Basilica of St. John Lateran.
Pope John Paul II called him "the apostle of the sick." The new blessed indeed played throughout his ministry in the Secretary of State (1942-1970), as well as in the Italian Episcopal Conference (1970-1977) his total commitment to the struggle against the marginalization of disabled people. He brought them out of the ghettos in which they are Confined and integrated into society. He helped them to learn a trade with the aim of making them independent also from the economic point of view. He demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy of spiritual motivation in the care of the sick.
In 1943 he founded the League for Priests Mariana to come to the aid of priests ill, injured or in serious economic conditions due to the war. Four years later he started the Volunteer Center of Suffering, the association in which the priest teaches the sick to think in a new way themselves and of disease.
In 1950, Father Louis hosted the first foundation of the Silent Workers of the Cross, "an association of consecrated souls - men and women, priests and laity - committed to illuminate the sick on the Christian meaning of suffering and to support them through charitable and professional recovery.
In 1952 the construction of the House to the Immaculate Heart of Mary King (Verbania) since 1960, hosts every year thousands of patients for the courses of spiritual exercises. Still in 1952, with the aim of making more efficient the accompaniment of the sick, Bishop Novarese created the fourth association, the Brothers and Sisters of the sick, healthy people who are part of the apostolate of the sick person sharing the same spiritual program and supporting him in his need.
On October 7, 1957 Bishop Novarese managed to impress the church hierarchy, organizing the largest gathering of sick, bringing 7 thousand sick in audience with Pope Pius XII in the Cortile del Belvedere. Seven thousand faithful on stretchers and in wheelchairs from all over Italy deeply moved the Pope.
Luigi Novarese’s earthly life ended on 20 July 1984 in Rocca Priora, a town near Rome. His body rests in Rome in the church of Santa Maria del Suffrage, in Via Giulia 59.
Source: VR Sedoc