"SACRED HEART" GENERAL HOUSE 1959
Address: Vicolo Ciaccia 29 - 00019
Location: Tivoli ROME | Italy
The story of a special man: «Msgr. Giuseppe Cognata »
A man of God: praise of his glory ... luminous ray of the Charity of Christ, "good Shepherd" ... most faithful witness of the Lord's Easter ... distinguished model of life for every Christian soul.
Boy and young man
Born from an important family from Agrigento at the end of the 19th century, he showed a great wealth of human talents and talents as a child: nobility of feelings, sharpness of ingenuity, firm and decisive will, diffuse goodness ... These skills were admirably enhanced by a wise Christian education received mostly from the mother, pious and intelligent woman, strong mild and dynamic.
When Peppino Cognata entered the "San Basilio" college of Randazzo, the first work of Don Bosco in Sicily, when he was twelve, his heart was ready to welcome the call to priestly and apostolic life among the Salesians; a vocation strongly opposed by his father and grandfather, with his long and painful trials and struggles, but crowned with joyful success.
Salesian: priest - teacher - apostle
On 5 May 1908 the cleric Giuseppe Cognata made his perpetual profession in San Gregorio di Catania, in the hands of the Rector Major Don Michele Rua and the following year, on 29 August 1909, he received priestly ordination in Acireale.
He had already achieved his double degree in literature and philosophy brilliantly and now he went to young people not only as a professor and assistant but as the zealous priest, faithful disciple of Saint Francis de Sales, authentic son of Don Bosco ... In truth he had acquired and harmonized in a wonderful way the spirituality, the method, the style and the peculiar characteristics of one and the other Saint! From his great and good heart the "charity of Christ" passed and spread over the youth world ... in Sicily, in the Veneto, in the Marche.
The First World War saw Don Cognata soldier in Palermo, Trapani, Padua. And in Trapani in military capacity, he laid the first foundations of the Salesian work which he was called to direct a few years later, after the war.
The new director distinguished himself widely and brightly in the various apostolic activities, becoming "all things to all", always tireless, ready for every instance, always mild and smiling. He raised a church dedicated to the Help of Christians almost out of nowhere, dedicated himself with zeal and commitment to the school, the oratory ... He was director of works, but even more director of souls.
From Trapani he was called to direct the college of Randazzo, then that of Gualdo Tadino in Umbria, and finally he was director of the "Sacro Cuore" of Rome. It passed everywhere as a mild reflection of the goodness of God ...
Bishop and Founder
This light could not remain hidden: the Holy Father Pius XI, in the Consistory of 16 March 1933, appointed Don Giuseppe Cognata Bishop of Bova, a particularly poor and disadvantaged Diocese of Calabria: a real "mission" in Italian land, on a human, civil level , cultural, religious, spiritual ... Small towns, lost in the mountains, without roads, water, bread, school, priest ...
Through steep paths and mule tracks Monsignor Cognata, who had chosen the Pauline expression "Caritas Christi, urget nos" as his episcopal motto, wanted in perfect missionary style to visit and comfort not only all the villages of the diocese, but also groups of poor families. scattered here and there in the most remote and inaccessible places, on the mountains of Bova or in the valleys of Amendolea.
He committed himself to the purely human and social field, but above all he worked on the spiritual level with courage, with ardor of charity, with trust in the unfailing help of Providence.
Man of faith and prayer, open to the breath of the Spirit of God, he created a pious society of generous young people, willing to work with courage and joy, in the smallest, most remote, most abandoned centers ... Congregation of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart in Bova Marina on December 8, 1933.
The new Institute, aroused by Providence in the wake of the Salesian spirit, with a specifically pastoral and missionary purpose in aid of the local Church, grew and developed in a few years with a rich flowering of vocations, spreading not only in the two dioceses of Bova and Reggio , but also in other areas of Calabria, Sicily and Lazio.
The life of the nuns was a spring song, a hymn of serene joy in sacrifice and in the generous "gift" of oneself ...
In silence and solitude
God's works are generally screened with the test of fire.
In 1939 a hellish storm broke out against the Founder and his institution: Msgr. Sister-in-law was dismissed from his episcopal dignity and went away, living for long years in silence and solitude, separated from his spiritual daughters ...
Exile, humiliation, annihilation illuminated by faith, animated by hope, sublimated by charity, which "never fails".
Assimilated to the Divine Master «meek and humble of heart
In the torment of the hard trial the Founder of the Oblates heroically consumed in the Sacrifice of Christ his oblation, praying, suffering, keeping silent ... giving to those who he could meet, with his unalterable smile, understanding, sweetness, goodness ...
For Crucem ad lucem
The Cross is hope, certainty of resurrection and of life: the grain of wheat rotted for a long time in the deep furrow, had to germinate and bear abundant fruit for the glory of the Lord.
The Istituto delle Oblate, despite its great poverty, continued to grow and expand, thanks to the special grace of the Most High who loves to bend tenderly over the little ones.
Monsignor Giuseppe Cognata in Easter 1962 was reinstated in the Episcopate.
Thus he participated in the Second Vatican Council ... later on he saw his spiritual daughters again ... On January 29, 1972 he had the joy of knowing the Institute decorated with the "Decree of Praise" by the Holy See
Now he could serenely end his long earthly day ... and go to his Lord on July 22 of the same year, right from Pellaro of Reggio Calabria, the initial seat of the missionary activity of the Oblates.
A large and precious legacy
Monsignor Cognata continues to live and work in his Institute with a very effective, even if invisible presence ... He continues to trace the path of the Oblation paternally, to spread the kingdom of God, to sing with the voice and heart of his daughters the sublime hymn of Charity, which is joyful acceptance of the cross, sacrifice of communion, full and unconditional giving to Love.
Thoughts of the Founding Father
The Lord is pleased to give souls diversity of gifts and tasks, but all makes them beautiful in his grace and rich in his love, if they submit to his sanctifying will.
In the practice of fraternal charity we never seek our interest: we love for the love of the Lord. Charity must be without exception, without conditions, without restrictions.
Do not worry about tomorrow, leaving it to the loving Providence of the Lord. Live your days one by one with the best commitment, humbly and confidently.
Our Lady is truly our helper: she is, as Saint Bernard says, the good "Star" that Jesus gave us to surely progress on our path of perfection. Let us invoke it with confidence in all our needs. «Look at the star, call on Mary»!
The most beautiful grace, which we must hope for, is the triumph of the Love of Jesus in our hearts.
Remember that the best way to repair the past is to live the present better.
Paradise does not arise in a moment. Paradise is a point of arrival, the last expression of a patient and continuous work of years.
Writings of Mons.Cognata
Guide in the path of the Oblation
Collection of thoughts, maxims, florets, exhortations, advice of spiritual direction, taken from the voice or from the writings of Monsignor Giuseppe Cognata, Salesian Bishop Founder of the Congregation of the Salesian Oblate Sisters of the Holy Heart.
Monsignor Giuseppe Cognata, elected bishop of Bova (RC) on March 16 and ordained bishop on April 23, 1933, shows himself to be a prompt and present Pastor in the face of the social and pastoral difficulties of the territory. Msgr. Cognata announces the gospel with simplicity, she hopes that "the strong bond of the heart is love for the Lord", and invites the peoples of God "to always forgive and overcome evil with good".
The Spirit of the Oblation
Circular letters The fifteen Circulars
Meditations on Saint Joseph
Meditations on the "Our Father"
On January 24, 1940, Frattocchie, the then Don Cognata, made known the essential points "of the spirit of piety of the Oblate soul".
As a second point he put the "Pater noster", and found the strength to prepare the commentary on Sunday prayers, sent to Professor Vultaggio, secretary of the "Zealers" of Trapani.
From here the 12 meditations on the Pater Noster were born, which represent one of the richest documents of the spirituality of the Founder.