This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December 27 -- Feast of Blessed Francesco Spoto

I'm going to preface this by acknowledging that I do not know a lot of history about the Democratic Republic of Congo.  I've tried reading a few very general, very brief sources to get some background for the death of Francesco -- I'm not sure it helped a lot. 

Blessed Francesco Spoto
Blessed Francesco was a Sicilian priest who studied at the Congregation of the Missionary Servants of the Poor.  He was ordained in 1951; I think it is fair to say that the 1950s and 1960s were the peak of anti-colonial rebellion in the Third World.  Francesco must have been a promising priest; within eight years, he was promoted to Superior General of the Congregation.  He apparently worked hard promote the group. In 1964, at age 40, he went to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to visit the missions there.

The DRC, formerly the Belgian Congo, was (and still is) an unfortunate place.  The havoc that was wrought upon it by the Belgian exploitation accounts for much of the misery; the Cold War antagonism between East and West that used Third World nations as pawns can account for a little more.  The balance of the misery is indigenous, and let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that it is an inconsiderable portion.

Mobutu Sese Seko