Monday, March 05, 2012


I've written about Nino Baglieri, Modica's much loved unofficial saint, both on this blog and for Italy Magazine and I am happy to be able to report that, five years after his death, the request for his Beatification has been made.  

For the past few days, Nino's house in Modica has been a place of pilgrimage and his family were particularly pleased to welcome young people from the Salesian movement at the weekend.  

"Nino", said his sister, "encouraged young people to fight against the difficulties of everyday life, to go forward and never give up."

Nino Baglieri was 17 years old in 1968 when a fall from some scaffolding left him tetraplegic and for ten years afterwards he lived in self-imposed isolation, cursing both God and his fate.  Then, in 1978, during a prayer meeting in his house, he found God again.  From that moment he offered his suffering to Christ and, having joined the Salesians, became an inspiration to young and old alike.  He offered guidance to others who were suffering and, holding a pen in his mouth, began to write.  He travelled, too, spreading his message of love everywhere he went.  Those who visited him in Modica say that it was always Nino who comforted them and not the sick man who needed solace.

On his death bed, Nino asked for his tracksuit and sports shoes to be put out so that he "could run into the arms of God." It is for this reason that the young Salesians who gathered in Modica on Sunday adopted as their slogan the words, "Corro verso la santità. Come Nino, l'atleta di Dio" - "I'm running towards sainthood, like God's athlete, Nino."

Although five years is the minimum period that has to elapse between a person's death and the beginning of their Beatification procedure,  it usually takes longer.  ["Exceptional circumstances" were cited in the case of Pope John Paul 11.]  The formal request for the Beatification of Nino was made by Don Pascual Chavez, Rector General of the Salesians, in Noto Cathedral on Saturday.

Corriamo con Nino!


Jenny Woolf said...

What an amazing and inspiring man.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, I wish I'd known him, Jenny.

James Higham said...

That's a touching story all right. Keep us in touch on progress.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Will do, James.


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