Biagio Conte, the lay missionary of Palermo has died

Is dead Biagio Conte. You fought against cancer for months, continuing to send messages of peace and hope even in the days when it got worse. “Let’s stay united for a better world, together we can do it”, he said just last Thursday during the mass which has been celebrated daily at noon since Christmas day in front of the room of her agony, in the mission headquarters in via Decollati. The mayor of Palermo, Roberto Lagalla, proclaimed the city ​​mourning. Around the bed of the lay missionary, his historical “brothers” remained until the last moment, people who lent their time and their profession to the dream of a better world that Conte carried forward in Palermo for over thirty years . Francesco Russo, the doctor-volunteer who looked after him with love in the hardest days together with Antonio Fulco, the biologist who took care of the sick with him.

Biagio Conte, the lay saint who fought for the least: the story of a miraculous life

by Claudia Brunetto

January 12, 2023


Don Pino Vitrano, first of all, who since he met him under the arcades of the central station in 1992, has chosen to walk beside him sharing the project of the mission. “What binds him to the people is above all hope”, Vitrano reiterated several times in his homilies in recent days. And then dozens and dozens of historical figures of the mission, of benefactors, of destitute people, of people arriving from all over Sicily, Italy and the rest of Europe who have found a landing place in Conte to save themselves from despair. There has been a queue in recent weeks behind the door of his room. All still waiting for that word that Conte, day after day, was no longer able to say. Happy, however, to be able to say a prayer for him, hoping until the last moment that he could save himself from the disease.

Mayor Lagalla: “His mission will go on”

“The disappearance of Biagio Conte leaves an unfillable void in Palermo. Even in the last most dramatic hours, the whole city rallied around brother Biagio, testifying to the value of the human heritage that he leaves us today and that we must not disperse”, he said. said the mayor Roberto Lagalla who proclaimed the city mourning. “The last meeting a few days ago with Biagio Conte, during which he advised me never to forget the poor, will remain unforgettable for me. In fact, a legacy left to the city to be guarded with a sense of responsibility. It is in this spirit that the administration and our community must stay close to the Hope and Charity Mission which will continue to be a point of reference for Palermo even if from today it will have to do without its founder, his guide who will still remain a source of inspiration for all of us”.

Governor Schifani: “He will guide my work”

“I express my deepest condolences to the family of brother Biagio Conte, to the patients and volunteers of his Mission”, said the president of the Region Renato Schifani. “Today the missionary left us – he added – after days of suffering, but his memory will remain indelible. With his daily and tireless commitment in favor of the least, he reminded us how, for every Christian, charity is an essential condition of his human existence and concrete implementation of his faith. Aware that his loss leaves a void that cannot be filled, I can only say that his example will be more alive than ever in inspiring my personal actions of solidarity towards others and those of my government “. This was stated by the president of the Sicilian Region Renato Schifani, upon hearing the news of the death of Biagio Conte, founder of the Hope and Charity Mission in Palermo.

 
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