Blessed Andrea Carlo Ferrari
Plata Piano, Parma, August 1850 – Milano, February 2, 1921
Roman Martyrology: In Milan, Blessed Andrea Carlo Ferrari, bishop, who valued the religious tradition of his people and opened new avenues to make Christ known throughout the world and love of the Church.
Born in Lalatta, part of the municipality of Prato Piano (Parma) in 1850, Andrea Ferrari crossed the normal “career” Church of the time. Accepted at the seminar in Parma, in 1873 he was ordained a priest, a year later he was appointed parish priest, then vice-rector at the seminar of Parma and professor of physics and mathematics, then he became rector of the institute. In 1890 he was elected Bishop of Guastalla, and was then transferred to Como and later Leo XIII appointed him cardinal; his destination, in 1894, the diocese of Milan and Andrea Ferrari remained there until his death in 1921.
He was a very active pastor, but sometimes his work and writings aroused disputes and appeals. In 1911, he faced a first canonical visitation and also the suspension of the word because, to some more conservative than he, he was considered close to modern ideas. This position was further clarified: the holy bishop was careful to word of the pope and respectful of the Church. He had to write: “No other teachers in the world can be compared to that of the Roman Pontiff, to whom was promised the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. He says: But the pope is a man! But one thing I see and feel, and is the hand of God to show his power elects things ignoble and despicable and that the stones istess can raise children of Abraham.”
Held in his diocese, an he lived an intense pastoral life by visiting all the places, groups and associations, classes and social strata. His presence was tireless, with the word, with the pastoral letters, with directions. “We bring with us years to all our good will, generosity of heart, firm resolution to maintain absolute silence and strict without which the exercises would be a perditempo and a contradiction. But no one believes that to maintain silence and recollection should be here or visit there to do the exercises alone. Indeed, in most cases (such as experience shows) that it is easier to miss the valuable aid to the living word far more effective than what we read about the books. “
He could appreciate and use his priests in the human aspects, but was too inflexible, because he gave a fair value to the discipline. He also kept much of their cultural background. There are many written documents about him, it is estimated that he gave about 20 thousand speeches. Equipped with high intelligence, he addressed the problems immediately but calmly and serenely. The Eucharist and the Virgin Mary played important roles in his spirituality.
He was among the first bishops who were interested in social problems in the wake of the encyclical Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII, instituted in the seminar, a professor of social economy entrusting to Professor Giuseppe Toniolo, considered one of the most prepared students. He told his biographer: “Just to meet the new problems created by industry, had established the” chaplains of the work. “Having come from the people, knew how fiercely and repeatedly raise the voice of the shepherd vigilant against the landowners and owners of workshops in defense of workers’ rights and respect due to the human person. padroni I (said with emphasis that, after many centuries, still echo the words of St. Ambrose) does not have the workers in behalf of slaves, but they relate as brothers, while respecting in them the image of the Divine Savior. is paid for workers with just wages.”
Not limited only to expressing ideas, but in his diocese to deal with difficult times in which Italy tried his economic adjustment, he gave his support and helped foundation alloy workers, agricultural, industrial, mutual aid societies banks, rural. He had much at heart the press began to establish a newspaper, “The Union”, which later became a popular daily newspaper with the name “Italy”. During the anti-campaign, launched with the regular hard intransigence “The Riscossa” Vicenza “Liguria” in Genoa, had a strong objection, even in these difficult circumstances clearly defended in his diocese, the position of its clergy and faithful.
At that time, as Pius X was “armored” by a voice that did not allow much less contact and dialogue, he was locked in silence and in prayer. “Between him and Pope Saint Pius X communication had failed and a smokescreen of confusion was formed, the doubts, suspicions that other, without the knowledge of two saints, in the name of a myopic intransigence with ease and little scrupulous, had made more dense and more gloomy. So that was the holy Cardinal had much to suffer, not only for the Church, but by the Church, specifically by Pope Saint Pius X. The Pope seemed not only that the archbishop of Milan was too warm in the fight against modernism and too submissive to the modernists, but sometimes close to disloyalty. The worst is that the sentiments of the pope leaked from mouth to mouth came to Milan, and some of the clergy and laity, to prove to fans of the pope, withdrew the heart and esteem from their archbishop.”
Following the new pope, Benedict XV, had words of attention and strong admiration for this cardinal fact that in his daily work he could speak with the charisma of an unquestioned faith and a great spirituality. Andrea Ferrari wanted to work up to the dire straits of forces: the disease began with the symptoms of hoarseness.
He died February 2, 1921. One of his last official acts, already on his deathbed, was the approval of the statutes of the Catholic University of Milan. The bishop and cardinal is one of the great saints of our century: the spirits of God who knew the suffering, but the difficulties that embraced Christ, contributed to concretely express the search for human and Christian perfection.
He was beatified May 10 in 1987. The Roman martyrology celebrates February 2, while the Ambrosian Church on February 1.
Author: Giuseppe Gottardo, from ‘Saints towards the Jubilee’ – Ed. Messaggero Padova
Source: Santi e Beati