Pope Francis tells, on the phone, seminarian with terminal cancer: “You will be a priest!”

The Vatican (Thursday, 05-16-2015, Gaudium Press) “The first blessing you will give as a priest is going to be for me,” Pope Francis said by phone to Salvatore Mellone, a seminarian with terminal cancer who will be ordained in his room.

Seminarista Salvatore Mellone.jpg
Seminarista Salvatore Mellone / Foto: Youtube de
sscrocifissotv (CapturaVideo)

The Archbishop of Trani-Barletta, His Excellency Giovanni Pichierri, confirmed that on April 14 Pope Francis called seminarian Salvatore Mellone on the phone and said to him: “The first blessing you will give as a priest is going to be for me.” “Salvatore, I am with you. You are going to be ordained and you will celebrate the Mass” the Pontiff told him on line according to the Italian newspaper la Repubblica.

Archbishop Pichierri confirms that the seminarian will be ordained on Thursday, April 16, at 4pm (local time) in his room. The ceremony will be broadcasted live to be seen on a big screen in the parish of Holy Crucifix of Barletta.

Having completed his vocational discernment in June last year, Mellone began to notice health problems. Doctors diagnosed him with a tumor in the esophagus. In October he went through intensive treatment “he never interrupted his training and he was granted the nulla osta for his admission to the diaconate and to the priesthood” Archbishop Pichierri commented.

Early this year his health worsened and Mellone expressed his desire to complete his educational journey.

After a “careful evaluation” Archbishop Pichierri received authorization from the Congregation for the Clergy to ordain him a deacon and a priest, in accordance Canon Law.

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The Archbishop said that the motivations of Salvatore “cannot simply be reduced to a personal desire to become a priest, but they are supported by a careful discernment of his vocation, which confirmed itself also during illness. The suffering has made him feel a deep communion with the mystery of Christ, for charity for those who suffer the most.”

Mellone asked to be ordained with the following words: “Today I feel carried on Christ’s shoulders; and as a priest I will carry the Stole with Christ, for the salvation of the world. Also, to celebrate Mass will be for me a real participation in Christ’s priesthood.”

Mellone entered the Pontifical Regional Seminary of Molfetta in 2011, at age 34, although his Christian formation had begun in his family and continued during adolescence in the parish of Santa Maria degli Angeli at Barletta. His ecclesial commitment grew with age and took him to a discernment of his priestly vocation, which was consolidated in the seminary.

His great sensitivity to the problems of the contemporary world led him to work as a journalist for the monthly magazine “The Stadera” and in 2013 he published with Vincenzo di Gregorio a book titled “L’umanità libera sorride a Dio. Agorà e Parola”.

Always available to help his brothers, the testimony of Mellone is a constant point of reference for the community.

With information from Aciprensa

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