Anyone looking for suggestions for inspiring reading during the Easter Triduum will not be disappointed by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia’s article on the cause for beatification of Father Felix Varela titled “A Wind of Holiness from Cuba and the United States: The Faith of Father Varela and his Path to Sainthood” (link). It is an especially timely contribution by the Archbishop given Fr. Varela’s ministry in both Cuba and the United States and the recently established rapprochement between the two countries.
More important, though, the article reminds us of the exhortation that the Church’s divine mission is to be “a sign and instrument of the unity of the human race” and not exclusively a path to individual salvation. It restates that God does not will the salvation of mankind as individuals but as a gathered people.
The Archbishop, for instance, points out that while markets are globalized, solidarity is not. These thoughts are as fresh as they are ancient. References are made to the Letter to Diognetus (2nd century), to Saint John Chrysostom (4th century), Pope Benedict XIV (18th century), to the Greek Patriarch Athenagoras and to Vatican II (20th century), and to Pope Benedict XVI (21st century).
Now on his way to canonization, Fr. Varela “walked the talk” and his story is destined to arouse consciences and stir hearts in the two lands of his apostolate.
On behalf of the trustees of the National Catholic Community Foundation, may I take this opportunity to express the hope that all the readers of this column experience an enriching and grace-filled Eastertide.
Dana Robinson is chair of the board of trustees of the National Catholic Community Foundation.