Syracuse, Judge Livatino as Saint Lucia: the juxtaposition of the archbishop emeritus

SYRACUSE – “Holiness has the flavor of consistency that does not bend “. This was one of the salient passages of the homily given by Monsignor Salvatore Pappalardo, archbishop emeritus of Syracuse, who this morning celebrated Holy Mass on the occasion of the octave of the feast of Saint Lucia of the quails. Commenting on the Gospel of John (“Love one another, as I have loved you”), he drew a parallel between the Patroness of Syracuse and the judge Rosario Livatino, beatified today in Agrigento in a ceremony in which Monsignor also took part Francesco Lomanto, archbishop of Syracuse.

“After centuries – said the prelate – Lucia and Judge Livatino are united by the same faith and by same love in the Lord Jesus. They are united by the intention of bearing witness to it with a life conduct worthy of a good Christian. Lucia donated her possessions to the poor, Judge Livatino showed great attention to the dignity of people. He exercised his function with the aim not so much to condemn, but to bring out the truth while respecting the dignity of every human being. It is a question of serving man because he was created in the image and likeness of God. In their message written for this occasion, the bishops of Sicily highlight how holiness has the flavor of hope that does not give up ”.

“I like this – continued Pappalardo – juxtaposition between Lucia and Rosario Livatino, also killed in hatred of the faith, because he was a Christian as well as a magistrate. A good man, who does not yield to the threats of the mafia and is killed. Santa Lucia, questioned by the judge Pascasio, he does not give up, he professes his faith in Christ, refusing the proposals offered to renounce his faith. It is precisely the coherence of life that makes us credible in what we say and what we want to testify. Christian life is believing and welcoming God’s love, bearing witness to it with works because it is the new life that is realized in charity. This is what we too are called to do every day – added the archbishop emeritus – living the Gospel in everyday life, in everything we do. Every day life is the continuation of the encounter with Christ, it is the celebration of our mass in the daily life of what our tasks are. The sanctity, which we desire and which we contemplate in Saint Lucia and in Judge Livatino – concluded Pappalardo – is to give a new flavor to our life, that of the hope that does not give up, of the coherence that does not yield and of the constant commitment that does not hold back “.

At the beginning of the Eucharistic celebration, the president of the deputation of the chapel of Saint Lucia, Pucci Piccione welcomed the archbishop emeritus, thanking him and underlining his commitment to the Syracusan church during his 12 years of ministry, from 2008 to 2020, when, upon reaching the age limit, he resigned in the hands of Pope Francis.

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