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updated 10:23 PM CET, Mar 27, 2020

Arsenius of Trigolo proclaimed ‘blessed’

Saturday, October 7 in the Cathedral of Milan

Cardinal Amato: “Father Arsenius was a priest proud of his vocation and of his apostolate … he loved prayer, sacrifice, and work. He was appreciated as a teacher of the spiritual life and as an expert confessor.”

Milan, October 7. On a nice sunny day, autumn just beginning, the Capuchin friar Father Arsenius of Trigolo, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mary Most Holy Consolatrix, was elevated to the honor of the altar. Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the sacred rite of beatification, having been delegated by Pope Francis, together with the new Archbishop of Milan, Most Rev. Mario Delpini and many other bishops, in the presence of the General Minister of the Capuchins, Br. Mauro Jöhri, as well as about a hundred friars and priests. The Cathedral made charming the special celebration with its forest of spires and the beauty of its stained glass windows, gathering to its bosom the great assembly of the faithful, of sisters and friars from Lombardy and many parts of Italy. Among these bear mention the General Postulator of the Capuchin Order, Br. Carlo Calloni, and his colleagues, who in large part made the arrival of the blessed event possible. In addition to this current beatification, another Blessed, Angelo of Acri, will be canonized in October, and another friar, Solanus Casey, will be declared Blessed in November, the first such beatification of a Capuchin friar from the United States.

Some biography of the new Blessed. Arsenius of Trigolo was born on June 13, 1849 in Trigolo (Italian Province of Cremona) and baptized with the name Giuseppe Antonio Migliavacca. In 1874 he was ordained priest and served in various parishes of the diocese of Cremona. In 1875 he sought and gained admission to the Jesuits. However, after various formative experiences, he was sent to Venice and then dismissed from the Society. He was then in Turin, where he was charged by the archbishop with assisting a group of aspiring sisters; they would be the first beginnings of the new Congregation of the Sisters of Mary Most Holy Consolatrix. Father Giuseppe then went to Milan in order to guide the community of sisters already there.

After various vicissitudes, Fr. Giuseppe asked to enter the Capuchins and after the year of novitiate in Lovere, where he had taken the name Fr. Arsenius of Trigolo, in 1903 he was transferred to the friary in Bergamo, where he remained until the day of his death, December 10, 1909.

Fr. Arsenius had to go through many trials during his earthly life. The most painful of these was his dismissal from the Society of Jesus. So it was also when he was accompanying the sisters and in this there was was another moment of trial, perhaps the most humiliating: in Milan, the sisters themselves, using false accusations, made it necessary for Cardinal Andrea Ferrari to remove him. It was then that he asked to enter the Capuchins, and, after the novitiate, he continued to dedicate himself to preaching and confessions, keeping and showing forth a great peacefulness while also hiding the good he had done in his life.

In his beautiful letter written to the friars on the occasion of the beatification of Fr. Arsenius, the General Minister concludes, “Dear brothers, Blessed Arsenius of Trigolo is added to the grand array of the saints and blesseds of the Order, each with his own particular story. Blessed Arsenius, formed as both a Jesuit and a Capuchin, shows us certain important elements of each spiritual tradition. To be inspired by the desire to do everything for the greater glory of God is the heart of the teaching of St. Ignatius, while in the grace of perfect joy in bearing tribulation, injury, and slander, always thanking God, recognizing that it is God who has loved us first, it is Francis who is teaching and forming. In this double role, Blessed Arsenius reminds us friars that the first work to fulfill is faith in Christ who alone gives glory to God and who can be brought to the world only with joy.”

For his part, during his homily Cardinal Amato said, “Father Arsenius was a priest proud of his vocation and of his apostolate of doing good … he loved prayer, sacrifice, and work. He was appreciated as a teacher of the spiritual life and as an expert confessor. … The virtues of humility and charity were the supporting pillars of his spirituality … he himself was the first to live them.” As Arsenius himself often recommended, “Be humble; don’t be afraid to become lowly.”

At the end of the liturgy the new Archbishop of Milan spoke briefly and mentioned how he had met Father Arsenius many years ago during a retreat talk. “He was always doing good in secret and I believe that today he is still up to hidden graces. Let us learn to be grateful to him and conform our lives to his virtues, such that we too might bear fruit.”



Materials for download (in Italian):

Liturgical texts – December 10

Capuchin Creative Commons

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Google Drive – Blessed Arsenius material

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Last modified on Friday, 10 November 2017 17:33