The 11th of July just past, on the feast of St Benedict, Mgr Mario OLIVERI came to celebrate a pontifical Mass in the presence of some 15 priest friends of the diocese together with our neighbours in Villatalla and numerous of the faithful.
His Grace gave an excellent homily on the patriarch of monastics, patron of Europe “filled with the spirit of all the just” and a man of prayer, he who in his Rule names it (prayer) “the Work of God to which nothing must be preferred”.
The proper preface from which Mgr drew the introduction of his preaching describes admirably the inner grace which adorned the soul of St Benedict. Here is its central part:
“Holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, you have established as head and master of an innumerable number of sons of St Benedict your confessor in the rewarding of a celestial wisdom. You have filled him with the spirit of all the just, and after having been pleased with him, you have illuminated him in the radiance of your light, such that in this light of an interior vision his soul was freed from any obstacle and could understand how the things down here are constrained. For all that we give you thanks through Jesus Christ Our Lord”.
After Holy Mass came the customary photo and the human festivities which all go together, the joy of meeting up and the gift of friendship around a buffet prepared by our secular oblate, brother Ange-Joseph, a man reserved, generous and a fine cook.
We know that for a year and a half Mgr Oliveri no longer has had juridical power in the diocese in which he works, despite still having the titular seat. We wished this day to be a tribute of affection and filial gratitude for all the good which he has poured out during twenty six years of episcopal ministry. He has shown a great supernatural serenity which typifies his episcopal motto “Fides et Pax” (Faith and Peace). It is a steadfast faith in which dwells the secret of peace and goodness which all those who draw near to it feel deeply.