From Turin to Shilin: Liturgy to welcome the relics of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati in Taiwan
On October 18 (the World Mission Sunday), Shilin’s Christ the King Parish, in the Archdiocese of Taipei, where the central council office of the SSVP Taiwan is located, was crowded with parishioners who wished to celebrate this day, after looking forward to the relics of Bl. Frassati, the first one making its way to Taiwan from Rome (Italy). Before the Mass, the emcee introduced to the parishioners a young Italian Vincentian Frassati, who was born in Turin (Italy). Lyrics were selected for Introit from This is the Day that the Lord has Made; let us rejoice in it and be glad (Psalm 118:24).
The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Dandy Labitag CM. The Superior of the province of China, Fr. Pawel Wierzbicki CM., and the parish priest, Fr. Dandy, pointed out that “faith cannot be confined only within the church, but must be shared with everyone in the community outside the Church.”
“The young Frassati has set a good example for us with his apostolate of ‘social service’, bridging faith and service, and serving God by serving the community.” he said in the homily.
At the request of fellow member Renato Lima de Oliveira, the 16th President General, the SSVP Central Council of this country asked for the relics to be sent to Taiwan. Bl. Frassati, a young Italian Vincentian who died of a disease while serving the poor, is a role model for young people; as a matter of fact, he is the patron of the Vincentian youth and the central office in Taiwan.
Furthermore, each time the Central Council’s President, Brother Aloysius, had trouble promoting activities, or helping women and young people going through a hard time, he always asked, with God’s grace, for the intercession of Pier Giorgio.
For the above reasons, Brother Aloysius thought that if Frassati’s relics can be brought to Taiwan to help the sufferers, the members, the benefactors, the volunteers and, especially, young people, it will definitely increase the strength of everyone faced with these difficulties and temptations, thus obtaining God’s blessings.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the relics were taken to France on their way to Taiwan. Finally, they were delivered on September 26. The first stop was Shilin’s Christ the King Parish. A week later, the relics kicked off a tour of twelve conference parishes. After completing the 3-month tour, the relics will be enshrined in Shilin’s Christ the King Parish.
May our beloved founders Félix Clavé and Frédéric Ozanam and Pier Giorgio be with us.
Aloysius Liu Ping-Kuan
President of the SSVP Central Council of Taiwan
The SSVP Taiwan is made up of 11 Conferences and around 90 fellow members. Its main activity is home visiting. Our fellow members respond to calls for assistance, provide essential food commodities, and help towards the costs of education and household bills.