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St Giovanni Battista Scalabrini and St Artemide Zatti (CNS and CNS/Agenzia Info Salesiana)

The refusal to help desperate migrants “is revolting, it’s sinful, it’s criminal”, Pope Francis said as he canonised a bishop dedicated to assisting migrants and a Salesian brother who emigrated with his family to Argentina. Source: CNS.

“The exclusion of migrants is criminal. It makes them die in front of us,” the Pope said yesterday, referring to the deaths of migrants and refugees crossing dangerous seas in search of freedom and a dignified life.

At the beginning of the liturgy in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis formally recognised the holiness of St Giovanni Battista Scalabrini (1839–1905), an Italian who founded the Missionaries of St Charles Borromeo to care for migrants, and St Artemide Zatti (1880–1951), an Italian immigrant in Argentina who became a Salesian brother, pharmacist and nurse.

The prayers at the Mass included one for “those forced to leave their homeland” and asking God to teach people to share “his welcoming gaze toward all people” and “heal the throwaway culture of indifference.”

Pope Francis focused much of his homily on the day’s Gospel reading about the 10 lepers healed by Jesus and, therefore, allowed back into society.

“When we are honest with ourselves, we realise that we are all sick at heart, all sinners in need of the Father’s mercy,” the Pope said. “Then we stop creating divisions on the basis of merit, social position or some other superficial criterion; our interior barriers and prejudices likewise fall. In the end, we realise once more that we are brothers and sisters.”

Pope Francis said each of these two holy men reminds us “of the importance of walking together and being able to give thanks”, Vatican News reported.

Both dedicated their lives to a Church that was inclusive and without barriers, as St Scalabrini cared a great deal for migrants and St Zatti cared greatly for the sick, taking upon himself the wounds of others.

“With great vision, Scalabrini looked forward to a world and a Church without barriers, where no one was a foreigner. For his part, the Salesian Brother Artemide Zatti was a living example of gratitude.”


Refusal to help migrants is ‘sinful, criminal,’ pope says at canonization (By Cindy Wooden, CNS)


Pope Francis canonizes two new saints: St. Artemide Zatti and St. Giovanni Battista Scalabrini (By Courtney Mares, CNA)

Pope canonizes founder of Scalabrinians, Salesian pharmacist (Vatican News)