Monday, July 29, 2019
“Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” —Hebrews 13:14
Today after a long journey I met Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano in a quiet place.
We greeted each other with joy and I asked him how he has been during the past year.
“Better than I deserve,” Vigano replied, laughing, adding with a smile, “Cardinal Deskur used to answer that way.”
He looks very good.
“So you have been well?” I asked.
“I have been well, yes, thanks be to God,” Vigano said. “I have been visiting with various friends, and the Lord has given me good health to be able to continue my mission.”
“You have not been seen for nearly a year,” I said. “Have you been in hiding?”
“I have tried to live in silence,” Vigano said, “avoiding the noise of the world.”
“What would you like to say to those who have been wondering where you are and if you are safe?”
“I would say them that we priests and bishops are only human, with many deficiencies, as we try to carry out our duty to represent Christ.”
“What is your deepest prayer?” I asked.
“My deepest prayer,” Vigano said, “is ‘Come, Lord Jesus.’”
Vigano suddenly fell silent as if filled with an unexpected emotion. His expression changed. His eyes began to glisten as if with incipient tears.
“You are weighed down with many thoughts,” I said, trying to be supportive.
Vigano took a deep breath and began to speak.
“The memory is certainly one of the major gifts we have received from the Lord,” he said. “He made us able to have impressed in our minds the most beautiful experiences that we have been living. And for me certainly, my memory is helping me, in the sense that one of the first memories that I have, was being carried in my mother’s arms, when I was about two years old, down into a bomb shelter during the bombardment of Milan during the Second World War. There was a little image of Our Lady there, with a light, and we started praying the rosary, with all of my brothers. This deep, emotional memory of Mary left its mark throughout my life. I remember that in those years we prayed the rosary every evening after dinner, all together, my father being just back from his work, and able to pray with us, sustaining those of us who had started sleeping. I remember how beautiful that was, to pray all together to Our Lady, Our Mother. To be in my mother’s arms and to be praying, in the shelter. So I am saying that a devotion to Our Lady has always been reassuring me, continually, from the beginning.”
(to be continued)