Don Canuto? “On the side of the sheep” the bishop reminds him Michele Tomasi. That is, “on the side of the Gospel”. The crowd of the San Nicolò temple listens with emotion. Monsignor Tomasi lowers his eyes, observes the coffin, on which a stole and the Gospel have been placed, then raises them and continues: «Don Canuto is there among those who are blessed by the Father. In hope I see him there, because in his life he has always been, without any doubt, on the side of the sheep ». The faithful would like to applaud with conviction, but this is not done during mass.
To greet the migrant priest, who died at 91, there are the bishops Paolo Magnani e Alberto Bottari di Castello, there is the future bishop of Vicenza, Giuliano Brugnotto. No less than 50 priests, and then the mayor Mario Contethe president of the province, Stefano Marconthe regional councilor Federico Canerdozens of mayors, Trevsani nel Mondo in full force with the president Franco Contethe ex Guido Campagnolo e Giuseppe Zanini, the gonfalons of 60 sections. And then the relatives of Don Canuto, the sister-in-law, the grandchildren, the great-grandchildren (they will be the ones to accompany the coffin outside the temple), between two wings of priests.
On the coffin, of light wood, a white rose and a photograph will also appear, as if it were a relic preserved by the first friends of Aclisti di Carbonera. This is why Bishop Tomasi will continue saying that “his commitment, the fruits of which the presence of so many here today bears witness, was to give dignity, listening, accompaniment to those who needed it, for the often tiring and dramatic events of life . He gave physical and spiritual bread, he was close, he dressed in the clothes of the dignity of social recognition and work, he tirelessly visited all over the world those who, who left home because of their own needs and families, were able to build stories of good and happy lives, maintaining the vital link with one’s roots ».
In fact, there are many immigrants in the temple. There is the Indian who worked with Don Canuto for 25 years. There are also Muslims. A shiver runs through the church as the bishop remembers a passage from Don Canuto from his spiritual testament. «I understood over time that my mother was also part of Your Design of love, having insisted with her father to have another child, before he emigrated to Argentina. Despite having three others: Gilda, Mario and Angelino. She had been pregnant with me for three months when she became a widow, her father dying in a work accident, in the construction of the church of my parish, S. Martino di Lupari. Papa Canuto Francesco would emigrate to Argentina the following week ».
The bishop reviews the life of Don Toso, among other things his 17 years as parish priest in Sant’Andrea, the responsibility of the first years with the Migrantes Foundation, on behalf of Magnani. And the commitment with “Trevisani nel Mondo”, to which he reserved the last passage of his will, with the exhortation “to preserve one’s identity, of cultural and Christian origin, with the courage to pass it on to descendants” .
And, to conclude, a joke that Don Toso often shared with the bishop and that he reported: “I was born Canuto, I will die Toso”. At the prayers of the faithful, after the grandchildren, an immigrant also went up to the altar to thank the courageous priest once again. The bishop will also do so in their respective messages Giancarlo Peregoas national president of Migrantes and the president Luca Zaia. And before that Renzo Rostirolla intoning the Hymn of the Trevisani nel Mondo, the president emeritus Campagnolo goes up to the altar to give him the last jump of the Aitm. “Actually he was the parish priest of all the Trevisani in the world, his arms were always ready, open to meet acquaintances and friends, always with a festive, sincere smile”. “Hi Canute,” he will say Riccardo Masini, before concluding the rite with the emigrant’s prayer: outside the temple, the last caresses to the coffin, the last kisses. The mayor Conte approached, stretched out his hand, held it propped up for long moments and then made the sign of the cross.