1 May, Feast of St. Richard Pampuri
Closure of the Jubilee Year commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of his Canonisation
St. Richard often reminded people: "Doeverything, even the most trifling things, with great love." That isexactly what saints do: doing everything with great love, however trifling.Never as in these times, beset by the coronavirus pandemic, have these wordssounded so relevant and meaningful. This period of reflection in retreat makesall of us focus on the essentials, and the one thing that is truly importantand bound to endure forever: love. The life of our Brother Saint, whose JubileeYear called by the Bishop of Pavia we are closing today, was run through at alltimes by this yearning, this unfathomable desire to experience and givelove.
Brother Richard was a man endowed with awealth of human, intellectual and spiritual gifts, which he knew how to developand place at the service of others. This special care he devoted to the least ofhis neighbours stemmed from his rare sensitivity and the profound humanity he harbouredin his heart – attitudes which were a routine part of his daily life, so muchso that some people often took him to be naive and callow. But only the foolishand naive could have thought that! For on the contrary, a Saint is preciselythe one puts into practice, with passion, dedication and boundless love, theteachings of our Lord who passed through the world healing and doing good to allmen. St. John Paul II, in his homily at his canonisation on 1 November 1989,said: "In a mere thirty-three years, the same age as Christ’s whom heloved above all things, the life of St Richard Pampuri was all a gift, to Godand to his neighour."
Our Hospitaller Family has joyfully joined in withthis extraordinary event promoted by the Diocese of Pavia, which has seen such agreat spiritual movement of young people, families, professionals, the elderlyand the sick, flocking to the tomb of Saint Richard, placing in his hands somany difficulties and sufferings, both physical and moral. On the thirtiethanniversary of his canonisation, the Bishop of Pavia, Mgr Corrado Sanguineti wasanxious to offer his Diocese once again the example of a great and self-effacingBrother Riccardo Pampuri: an exemplary young Christian, a model physician ofcharity and a very successful hospitaller Religious saint.
Erminio Filippo Pampuri, who later took thename of Brother Richard at his Religious Profession, was a physician of bodiesand souls. He strove throughout his life to imitate Jesus the Good Samaritan, ashe devoted himself to nursing the sick during the First World War from 1915 to1920. He graduated from the University of Pavia with a first class honoursdegree in Medicine and Surgery in 1921, and immediately began to practise his profession,especially in Morimondo, as a local authority doctor greatly loved by the people.Giving was one of his hallmarks: he visited the sick anywhere and at all hours,taking them food, medication, blankets, clothing and often money. He joined theHospitaller Order in Milan on 22 June 1927, after the Novitiate year inBrescia, and on 24 October 1928 he made his Religious profession. He wasappointed to run the Dental unit attached to the Fatebenefratelli Hospital inBrescia, which mainly catered for was poor workers and labourers. Here, BrotherRichard worked tirelessly to bring them relief with unfailing love, despite hisalready precarious state of health, attracting the admiration and veneration ofthe entire population of Brescia.
During his Religious life Brother Riccardo was, as he always had been, amodel of Christian perfection and charity for everyone: the Brothers, doctors, thesick and health care staff. He was held in high regard by all for his greatprofessional skills and competence, combined with his humility and simplicity.During his brief earthly existence, Brother Richard succeeded in charting a newpath of holiness by putting charity into practice in everyday life. But all toosoon, following the recurrence of the pleurisy he had contracted duringmilitary service, which turned intobronchial pneumonia, on 18 April 1930 he was taken from Brescia to Milan, wherehe died a holy death on 1 May at the age of 33.
After his death, the fame of holiness he had earned in life spread widely throughoutItaly, Europe and other continents. Many people obtained recognised graces fromGod, some miraculous, thanks to his intercession.
St. Richard was beatified by St. John Paul II on 4 October, 1981. On 5 January,1982 a ten-year-old Spanish boy, Manuel Cifuentes Rodenas, whose left eye hadbeen seriously injured, was inexplicably cured, which was declared miraculousby the Church, thanks to the intercession of the then Blessed Riccardo Pampuri.The boy was due to undergo surgery, but he was cured overnight after his fatherhad placed a holy picture of St Richard the between the bandages. This new recognisedmiracle led to his canonisation on 1 November 1989 by St. John Paul II.
From the General Postulation
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