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STORIES OF SIMPLE PRIESTS
from issue no. 05 - 2010

The vocations of Don Giuseppe



Interview with Riccardo Petroni by Paolo Mattei


“I often receive testimony of devotion to Don Canovai from people I never would have imagined. Any priest over fifty I meet tells me they shaped themselves in the seminary on his writings. Recently, a month ago, I met Cardinal Vicar Agostino Vallini, who told me of the fundamental importance of reading the diaries of Don Canovai for his own human and priestly training”. Don Riccardo Petroni, postulator of the cause for beatification of the Roman priest, explains that the “reading of his diaries is still a source of a significant flowering of vocations”.

At what point is the cause for beatification?
DON RICCARDO PETRONI: It has been in the offices of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints for ten years. The Positio super virtutibus is ready but must be signed by the relator and then published. We look forward hopefully.
Devotion to Don Giuseppe is widespread not only in Italy...
PETRONI: Yes, he is very popular in Latin America, especially Argentina and Chile, where he is revered especially by families. His diaries have been translated into Spanish. I receive many, many testimonials from there to the graces received through his intercession.
Canovai founded “Familia Christi”. What is it?
PETRONI: It’s a private association of the faithful with canonical recognition and legal status recognized by the State. Its purpose is the training of the laity, and following in the footsteps of Don Canovai, its particular sphere is the apostolate to universities. Its works are widespread here in Rome, and I am its ecclesiastical assistant. I must say that it is very encouraging to see young men today moved when reading the diaries of Don Giuseppe... who decide to become priests thanks to reading them.
Where is Don Canovai buried?
PETRONI: His remains were brought to Rome and now rest in Santa Maria in Ara Coeli. But we are awaiting a definitive arrangement, because they are in a crypt under the paving that is not accessible. Many people ask us whether they can venerate them. Currently it can’t be done.


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