‘Don Pino’ beatified

  • May 30, 2013

Will the mafiosi attempt to march in the Corpus Christi processions this Sunday in Sicily? The beatification last Saturday of Fr. Giuseppe Puglisi — Don Pino as he was affectionately known by his people — of Palermo should dissuade them.

In Sicily, as in other parts of Italy and its diaspora, the Church and the mafia often went together like two brothers in the same family — one for holy Church, the other for the wicked world, and like the wheat and the tares of the biblical parable, sometimes they were terribly entangled.

The word “iconic” is terribly overused today by people who do not know its religious roots. An “icon” is not just something famous, but an image that invites the one beholding it to see through it, as it were, to the deeper reality behind. The one who prays before an icon in the Eastern tradition, for example, is not merely appreciating a piece of art, but encountering the holy person written there. Cinema too can produce iconic scenes, and some of the most famous are those Francis Ford Coppola gave us in The Godfather films.

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