Seafront near Brancaccio with hardy palm tree

QUOTES

Love.
“We are only able to change if we are loved; it’s impossible to change if we feel judged. You can only change someone if you show them your love, and out of that love you say: precisely because I love you just as you are, I wish for you that you change.”

Freedom.
“No one is far from the Lord.
The Lord loves freedom, he doesn’t impose his love on us. He doesn’t force our hearts. Each heart has its own time, which even we ourselves are unaware of. He knocks and stays by the door. When the heart is ready, then he will open it.”

The meaning of life.
“Each of us feels an inclination, a charism within ourselves.
A project which makes each of us unique, irreplaceable.
This call, this vocation, is the sign of the Holy Spirit in us.
Only by listening to this voice can we make sense of our lives.”

I have done my best.
“We need to follow our vocation, our project of love.
But we must never think that we have already arrived at our destination. We start afresh every time. We need humility and an awareness of having accepted our Lord’s invitation, we need to follow it, then we need to show him what we have done and be able to say: yes, I did my best.”

Like the tiles in a mosaic.
“Let’s consider that mosaic of Jesus in Monreale Cathedral.
Each of us is like a little glass tile in that great mosaic.
Therefore each of us must understand our role and help others understand theirs, so that together we can make up the unique face of Christ.”

Words and deeds.
“It’s important to speak about the mafia, especially in schools, to fight the mafia mentality, meaning any ideology which squanders human dignity for money. However, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to marches, complaints, protests. All these things are useful, but if we stop at that, it’s only words. And words need to be supported by deeds.”

God gives us strength.
“Love for God purifies and frees us. This doesn’t mean we become depersonalised; on the contrary, our personality is exalted and strengthened, that is, a new potential is given to our natural faculties, to our intelligence. A new light is given to our will.”

If each one of us does something.
“Our initiatives, and those of the volunteers, are just a sign.
They will not change Brancaccio.
This is an illusion we can’t allow ourselves to have.
It’s only a sign to provide people, especially the young, with different models.
We do it to say: given that there is nothing, we want to roll up our sleeves and build something.
And if each one of us does something, then together we can do a lot…”

Witness which leads to martyrdom.
“The disciple of Christ is a witness.
Christian witness comes upon difficulties and can lead to martyrdom.
It’s only a small step, in fact it is precisely martyrdom which gives value to witness.
Remember St Paul: ‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain’. So this desire becomes a wish for communion which even transcends life.”


Quotes about 3P

“Padre Puglisi presents an idea of the Divine which has nothing to do with fundamentalism or fanaticism. In these times, when the accepted model of faith is that of an instrument of violence, conflict and oppression, his thought now appears farsighted, and all efforts to turn the Divine into a weapon to subdue and oppress are at once an unacceptable form of blasphemy to the believer, and folly to doubters such as myself.”

Moni Ovadia (actor and musician, speaking on the 23rd anniversary of 3P’s death)

“That we might be truly free – this was don Pino’s goal: to ensure, above all, that the younger generations be truly free” 

Corrado Lorefice, Archbishop of Palermo

“He was ordinary in an extraordinary way. He loved life, and loved freedom. In my opinion he was killed because he taught the young people of Brancaccio to walk with their heads high, without bowing before the mafia; he wanted to free them from all forms of violence and bullying.”

Suor Carolina (Padre Pino’s right-hand helper in Brancaccio)