His life (Cislago 1898 – Lecco 1954)

donluigimonza10Luigi Monza was born at Cislago (Varese) on June 22nd 1898, in a simple rural family whose only wealth were work, courage and faith.

At the age of 18, after experimenting the country hard work, long sleepless nights to catch up with his studies and the everyday efforts of poor people struggling to keep body and soul together, Luigi Monza entered the catholic Seminary where he was ordained priest on September 19th, 1925.

His first pastoral assignment was with the Vedano Olona Parish, where he provided spiritual assistance and education to adolescents and young people.

Father Luigi Monza first years as a priest were marked by severe trials including the harshness and unjust jail of the fascists.

In 1928 he was assigned to the Blessed Virgin of Miracles Sanctuary in Saronno where he soon became the promoter of a number of activities involving young people.

Here, his eyes – sharpened by the trials of life and seized by God’s gaze – had learnt to look very faraway, over the whole world; a world marked by solitude, sadness and selfishness, in urgent need to be brought back to God’s love.

It was a great intuition, but it was necessary to wait for the Lord to tell the way to implement it. In particular, looking at this “pagan world”, as he used to call it, he got the intuition that the charity uniting the early Christians was the most appropriate means to be neighbour to the man of today and announce the good news of the Lord. Christians from within the society, sharing their daily life experience and in one’s own professional task, were to be the witnesses and the living presence of God’s love for men.

In 1936 Father Luigi Monza was appointed Pastor of Saint John Parish in Lecco, where he acted in unity with God’s heart.

In 1937 the way the Lord had prepared for him became clear. The Secular Institute of the Little Apostles of Charity, conceived by his fatherly heart, was to act as a gift of the Spirit, offering mankind the fullness of lives consecrated to Christ’s love “with the apostolic fervour of the early Christian community”.

The Association La Nostra Famiglia is the expression of his charity and that of the Little Apostles. He recommended that the Institution be the place to witness his prophetical intuition: “ to our world, morally upset, by the examples of your lives, go out and tell how wonderful it is to leave in one another’s love”. The Institution developed gradually; like a seed that contains in its extremely small shape the whole dimension of a great purpose: to thake care of children with disability.

On the 29th of September 1954, Father Luigi silently stepped apart and disappeared, like the grain rotting to produce the ear, honestly conscious that he had accomplished his duty and had given the community the good indications from where to depart and where to arrive: the road ascending to God. All the rest was to follow.

Father Luigi was proclaimed blessed on 30th April 2006 in the Cathedral of Milan.