On December 10, 2022, in the presence of the Archbishop of Turin, Roberto Repole, and the Bishop of Sofia, Christo Proykov, the diocesan process for the beatification of Father Giueppe Alloatti (1857-1933) was completed. Present were the officials who supervised the process, the Mother General of the Eucharistine Sisters, some Daughters of Charity and Nazarene Sisters, and students at the Collegio Alberoni.
With the gesture of sealing the boxes containing all the writings of Father Alloatti (writing that are to be sent to the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints in Rome, the heroic testimony of the proclamation of the faith to the Macedonian and Bulgarian people was also shared with the broader Church. A fellow missionary in Thessaloniki wrote of him: “He was a missionary in the true sense of the word. For many years during his mission among the Macedonian people, he found himself ministering in the midst of suffering and self-denial. I do not know if any other missionary led a more heroic life … a very mortified individual and, although he lived an austere lifestyle, he always remained an affable and kind brother”. What was the swource of this charitable, missionary energy? The sources was the encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist, which he wanted to be the charismatic centre of the Eucharistic Sisters, which he, together with his Sister, Eurosia, established in Bulgaria. “One day”, says Father Timothy Yanev, “I knocked at his door. A faint voice answered me: Come in. I opened the door and saw Father Giuseppe kneeling at the large open window overlooking the garden, his long hair on his shoulders, his hands folded on his chest, and in front of him the Gospel on which he was meditating. It seemed like a vision to me. From that moment on, I began to have a greater love for my vocation as a priest.
Mission of the confreres in Albania to Thessalonika
As an ideal continuation of Father Alloatti’s mission in the 90th year of his death, the confreres of Albania have decided to set out on mission to Thessalonika, in northern Greece (the ancient Thessalonika of St. Paul), which was also the base of Father Alloatti’s missionary journeys. The Vincentian community in Thessalonika, dependent on the Province of France, is composed of four confreres who administer the parish of the Immaculate Conception which encompasses 10 missionary centres spread over an area of about 100 km. In these centres there are Albanian Catholics who have emigrated there in large numbers and it is mainly they who have been involved in the mission carried out by Fathers Augustin and Ferdinant.
Father Augustine states: “We, the Albanian confreres, in collaboration with our brothers in Thessalonikia, have organised an initiative for some popular missions in Thessalonika and the surrounding area. We met in October 2022 with Fathers Andrei Maximiliam and Shaw Sandoval Naphtali from Thessaloniki and, together with them and the Bishop of Sapa (Albania) Simon Kulli – in charge of the Albanian Catholics in the diaspora – we organised three missions duirng 2023: 10 days in January, 10 days in April (after Easter) and 10 days in November. It was a meeting of understanding, cooperation and planning. Thus from January 2-13 Father Ferdinant and I went to Greece and together with the confreres in Thessaloniki we carried out this mission, celebrating the Eucharist, visiting and blessing the families, hearing confessions and visiting the sick in Thessaloniki, Mihanjona, Redestos, Katerini, Iannizà, Agio Athanasio and all the other parish centres.
It was exhausting, but beautiful. The community in Thessaloniks was very welcoming. We saw people thirsty for the Word of God and in need of listening. This fulfils the dream of our Albanian community to open ourselves to the mission even more than we are already experiencing. We hope that the Albanian Daughters of Charity will also join us as missionaries in the coming period: they have been invited and are now studying our proposal. Our contribution to evangelisation is very effective because the Catholic majority in these areas is ethnic Albanian. When they hear their mother tongue, they feel loved, and this strengthens them in their faith. The Bishop of Corfu-Thessaloniki, Georgios Altouvas, was also very satisfied with our contribution.
More information about Father Giuseppe Alloatti can be found at the following link: https://cmglobal.org/en/2021/07/20/giuseppe-alloatti/