Fr. Fabrizio De Michino, a priest in the Diocese of Naples, Italy, died at the age of 31 after suffered greatly in his last few months. This letter, published on Aleteia’s website on January 9 (here), was sent to Pope Francis shortly before the priest’s death. It offers a very joyful testimony to the Christian meaning of redemptive suffering and a heroic witness to the abiding truth that the greatness of the priest is to be found not just in the unmerited dignity of offering the sacrifice of Christ in the Liturgy, but also in the meritorious dignity of co-offering himself with Christ to the glory of the Heavenly Father for the life of the world.
Priests may never be many, we may never be wise in the eyes of the world, but whatever we priests do must be done through the foolishness of the cross. — Archbishop Fulton Sheen
As you read this letter, please thank God for every priest who has graced your life and pray to God for those priests who daily bear to you Christ’s sacramental mysteries and, in their prayer, bear you up into the mystery of God. Out of respect for Aleteia’s intellectual property rights I will include part of the letter here and link you to their site for the rest at the end.
In the daily prayers that I offer to God, I do not cease to pray for you and the ministry that the Lord himself has entrusted you with, so that you might always have the strength and joy to proclaim the beautiful news of the Gospel.
My name is Fabrizio De Michino, and I am a young priest of the Archdiocese of Naples. I am 31, and have been a priest for five years. I serve in the Archdiocesan Seminary as an educator in diaconal formation as well as in a parish in Ponticelli, located on the outskirts of Naples. The parish, which recalls the miracle that happened on Esquiline Hill, is named in honor of Our Lady of the Snows, and in 2014 it will celebrate the centenary of the coronation of its wooden statue, which dates back to 1500 – an image that is very dear to all the inhabitants of the parish.
Ponticelli is degraded by poverty and high crime, but every day I truly discover the beauty of the Lord’s goodness on those who trust in him and the Blessed Virgin. Read more click here…