The Dream of a Beautiful Life: 5th Anniversary of Blessed Gabriele M. Allegra’s Beatification

On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the beatification of Gabriele Allegra, the province of Friars Minor of Sicily recalls this event with a day dedicated to him. A solemn Eucharistic Celebration will be celebrated on 30 September at 6.30 p.m. at the sanctuary of our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Messina. The General Minister of the order Br. Michael A. Perry will preside. Following the celebration there will be a moment of testimonies, reflections and songs. Br. Giuseppe Di Fatta will present a new CD entitled Il sogno di una vita bella with the voice of blessed Gabriele m. Allegra.

Gabriele Maria Allegra was born in S. Giovanni La Punta (Catania) on December 25, 1907. In December 1918 he entered the Seraphic Seminary of San Biagio Friary in Acireale. On October 13 , 1923 he took the Franciscan habit, with the name of Gabriele Maria, and October 19, 1924 he made his first profession. He was ordained a priest in Rome, in the chapel of Collegio Leoniano on 20 July 1930.

Surrounded by wide fame of Holiness, admired for his Franciscan simplicity and for his constant and endearing smile, especially by the poor and the lepers of Coloane, Br. Gabriele M. Allegra died on January 26, 1976 in Hong Kong.

The name of Allegra (cheerful) is linked especially to the now famous translation of the entire Bible in Chinese, which he began on September 11, 1935, the feast of our Lady of Sorrows. It became the boldest “project” of his life, which he considered an act of faith in God’s Word, and a great love for the Chinese people, He desired greatly that they be able to read ” God’s letter to his people” in their own language.

Love for the Word of God and zeal for the good of Chinese brothers and sisters formed in Br. Gabriele an indivisible binomial, which supported him in difficult times and that made him ready to face any opposition to the realization of the greatest of his heart’s desires.

Our Blessed brother’s assiduous meditation on God’s Word and in particular on the mysteries of Christ, gave fruit in the intensity of contemplation and ardor of apostolic action. Allegra, as attested to by one of the witnesses in the process for his beatification, “was the man of God, who heard God, lived for God and gave God”.

Given the growing fame of Holiness, that even after death, continued to surround the figure of Allegra, the Bishop of Hong Kong in 1983, in response to the request of the General Postulator of the Friars Minor, authorized the initiation of a regular canonical process to ensure the sanctity of life and heroic virtues practiced by the servant of God.

The Cause formally concluded December 15, 1994 with the Decree on heroic virtues. Eventually on April 23, 2002 a miraculous healing obtained through the intercession of our Venerable brother was certified.

On the 29th of September 2012 with Benedict’s Decree, he was declared Blessed.

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