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100th Anniversary of Father Faccenda

A Voice for Our Times

We are celebrating 100 years since the birth of Father Luigi Faccenda, founder of our Institute, and 15 years since his departure for Heaven. Many are the reasons to be thankful and cherish his charism and his rich spiritual and missionary legacy. 
Little by little, we will present short excerpts of his biography published in our Italian magazine “Missione Maria” 2020. This biography is written by Giuseppina Marinaro.

Father Luigi Faccenda, OFM Conv., from the Church of Bologna, was born in San Benedetto Val di Sambro, Italy on August 24, 1920. 
For the 100th anniversary of his birth and the 15th of his death, we want to remember the important moments of his life, and “listen” to his voice to begin to understand his thoughts and sentiments. 

Before becoming a friar, Father Luigi’s name was Mario. He gratefully remembered the church of Gabbiano with its white and slender pinnacles that peeked between the firs and junipers. As a child he would go there for Mass with his mother, Augusta, happy to take short cuts along the enchanting paths of the Bolognese Apennines. He also remembered riding on the back of a donkey through the green meadows of the Sambro Valley, dreaming of a missionary future. 

Mario wanted to be a friar and dreamt of “conquering souls for God.” Fascinated by the Conventual Franciscan friar’s habit, he was 12 years old when he entered the seminary in Faenza. Fragile in health, but determined interiorly, after studying in Assisi, he made his simple profession in 1938 and his solemn profession in Faenza in 1941. On May 18, 1944 he was ordained a priest.

From His Words 
“When I became ill and my vocation seemed compromised, evening would find me sad, thinking of my convent, of tomorrow’s priesthood, of the missionary life. Lord, will You give me health or not? It doesn’t make any difference as long as You are with me, as long as darkness doesn’t descend into my soul.”