Not just thoughts and prayers for Biagio Conte but also a large network of solidarity so that the lay missionary does not lack what he needs in the moment of his illness. The conditions of brother Biagio, who has been battling colon cancer for months, have worsened in recent days and the whole city is apprehensive about his health.
Alessio and Gianluca Pellegrinoaged 29 and 39, suffering from spastic tetraparesis, known for having told their story to the media, yesterday they created a whatsapp group called “Let’s help brother Biagio” through which they invited everyone to participate in a fundraiser for the purchase of absorbent aids, catheters and everything that can be used by Biagio Conte at this moment.
The solidarity of the Palermitans was not long in coming. In a few hours, many have taken up the appeal and everything they needed has arrived. “We know Biagio Conte well – explain the brothers Alessio and Gianluca Pellegrino – we have collaborated many times with his mission. He has done so much for this city and saved the lives of many people, now he is the one who needs us ”.
It was precisely the missionary, who manages several communities for the poor in Palermo, who communicated his battle against evil and asked to pray for him. He had also written a letter to the archbishop Conrad Loreficeinforming him about his health conditions. “Dear pastor Corrado, I am very worried, stay close to me, I entrust myself to your precious prayers – he wrote – know that my miserable prayers are close to you and to all the beloved Holy Church”.
And in the cathedral yesterday, during the celebration of the 35th anniversary of his priestly ordination, Monsignor Lorefice raised a prayer for Biagio Conte. “At this moment those close to brother Biagio – said the archbishop – are asking for prayers and attention for the guests of the Mission. The church of Palermo prays for him”. Mayor Roberto Lagalla also asks to be constantly informed about Brother Biagio’s condition. “My closeness and my encouragement – says the mayor – towards him are those of an entire city that gathers around the lay missionary in this tough battle”.
From news leaked by some health workers, Biagio Conte would be walking the last mile of his existence and clinging to the last hope there are those who in the missionary friar have rediscovered the meaning of life and belonging to the community. Living in a world without Biagio Conte is unthinkable for many. Brother Biagio began his mission by bringing comfort to the homeless in the central station. For them he fought with protests and fasts and in 1993 he obtained the use of some premises in via Archirafi, where in 1993 he founded the Mission of hope and charity. On a mission for days, all the guests and volunteers are gathered in prayer. We ask God to leave him a little more time on this earth where so many still need him.
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