St. Justin de Jacobis: The Art of Dialogue

by | Jul 29, 2016 | Formation

Father Robert Maloney, C.M., writes:

More than a century before the word “inculturation” became popular, Justin [St. Justin de Jacobis] was a master of the art. He said to his listeners: “…if anyone should question you: ‘Who is this stranger?’, answer: ‘He is a Roman Christian who loves the Christians of Ethiopia more than his mother and more than his father; he has left his friends, his family, his brothers, his father and mother in order to come to visit us and to show his love for us.’”

This Vincentian Saint, whose feast day is July 31, rejected the concept of evangelization as a one-way street and instead embraced a missionary process that was interactive and complementary. His message to the Ethiopians: “When I speak to you I hand you the key to my heart.” Learn more in the SlideShare presentation below.

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If I had to pick a single Daughter of Charity to present to the sisters as a model, I would pick Rosalie Rendu. If I had to pick a single missionary to present to the confreres, I would pick Justin de Jacobis. Few missionaries have been as closely identified with their people as he was. His letters are filled with wisdom, deep pastoral charity, and a profound sensibility toward the people whom he served.” – Robert P. Maloney, CM