A modern-day Gandhi
Fratel Biagio chose the square where Padre Puglisi was murdered in 1993 to stage his hunger strike, and camped out by his statue (in glass case at back). Paul is on the left.
On the 15th day of his fast: visit from the Imam of Tunis, among many others!
Paul, a plumber from Ghana, is one of Fratel Biagio’s volunteers, and has been an invaluable helper in the Mission for ten years. An unfair new law has resulted in the rounding up and repatriation of many immigrants, and Paul, who as a live-in volunteer is ‘unemployed’ in the eyes of the State, had his residency permit denied and was requested to report to the local police station. Biagio Conte went on hunger strike in protest, keeping Paul constantly by his side.
On the 16th day of his fast, Paul was given a reprieve, thanks to Fratel Biagio!!
Here is the text of a moving letter written by Paul before his reprieve:
Nurture your spiritual life and your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything I do and everything I am. Nurture your life within this big family; give your children love, not only money; generously give your time, attention and love. Nurture your relationships with others. Make your faith a living faith, in your words and in your deeds, especially in serving the needs of your brothers. Be careful in what you say, purify your tongue of offensive, vulgar or frivolous words. Heal your heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving all those who have wounded you, and tending the wounds you have inflicted on others. Then make sure that you work with enthusiasm, humility, ability, passion, and above all with a spirit of gratitude to the Lord. Guard against envy, lust, hate, and all those negative emotions which poison our inner peace. Guard against anger which can lead to revenge, laziness which leads to existential euthanasia. Guard against pointing the finger at others which leads to pride, constant complaining which leads to despair. Nurture your vulnerable brothers and sisters, the elderly, the sick, the angry, and the homeless.
Aning Paul Yaw