An Innovative Apostolate
Blessed Luigi Novarese is the first person to create an innovative Apostolate where the suffering person is an active participant as a role model giving hope to others in pain’s long tunnel. Courageously accepting suffering and reacting to it as Children of God give meaning to a terrible illness or disability.
The Suffering can become precious in evangelizaion aiding others in similar situations, transforming darkness into light, isolation into communication, proclaiming the Gospel as they share the meaning of their union with Christ’s Passion and Resurrection.
The Suffering’s New Role
Through living the Apostolate, the suffering find new active roles in their interpersonal relationships, in their Parishes and in society as a whole. They are not to be pitied, but to be admired for their commitment because even if their bodies may suffer, their minds are quick. They are never isolated; their spiritual growth leads to a more profound understanding of themselves and their evangelical role.
The idea that the Cross is “a scandal to the Jews and folly for the Gentiles” (Cor 1, 23) does not enter their minds because they feel the Lord’s love as they carry their crosses. God teaches them how to overcome the struggle between man and suffering, between man and death. They follow the path of Jesus of Nazareth who leaves his tomb returning to life.
Blessed Virgin’s Messages inspire Founder
The Apostolate of the Suffering was founded by Blessed Luigi Novarese in 1947, after suffering and passively accepting his fatal disease. Through his undying faith, he found meaning to his suffering through uniting it with Christ’s and following the inspirational messages of our Blessed Mother at Lourdes and Fatima:
“Penance, penance, penance and pray for the conversion of sinners. So many souls are lost because there is no one to pray or offer sacrifices for them. Are you willing to accept whatever God sends you and offer it up for sins and the conversion of sinners?”
For the average person, responding to Our Lady’s request amounts to little more than accepting daily trials and tribulations resulting from our daily duties and offerng them to God. However, there are special souls whom God has chosen to identify with in a special way: to take their place with His Mother at the foot of the Cross in today’s world. These special people are our sick, suffering and physically or mentally challenged brothers and sisters. It is for these people the Apostolate of the Suffering was founded.
Neither the kind nor severity of suffering determines a person’s participation in the Passion of Christ. It is the love expressed in one’s suffering that unites him to His Passion. Our vocation is the acceptance of our sorrows and their burden transforming them into sacrifices that are offered to the Father, in Christ, for the salvation of one’s self and others.
We are not seeking to suffer, but we resolve to accept that which we cannot change and offer it up to work with Christ to save souls.
A charismatic life “Following Blessed Novarese’s Footsteps: Living the Apostolate of the Suffering’s Charisma”