Biagio Conte, who was the lay missionary of Palermo, has died

Biagio Conte, who was the lay missionary of Palermo, has died
Biagio Conte, who was the lay missionary of Palermo, has died

Biagio Conte represents one of the most famous figures of the Sicilian religious world. The memory of his life and his mission through photos.

Is dead Biagio Conte. After days of agony the 59-year-old lay missionary passed awayinside the Citadel of the poor and of hope in via Decollati in Palermo.

Who was Biagio Conte

Biagio Conte was born into a wealthy family in Palermo on 16 September 1963. At the age of 16 he decided to abandon his studies and his father took him to work in his construction company. But the young man is tormented, he continually seeks answers inside and outside of himself that he can’t find.
At the age of 20 he left home and moved to Florence. Seven years later he goes to live as a hermit. His parents are looking for him, they have no more news of him. They even contact the show Who has seen it. The editorial staff manages to contact him, he connects live asking the family not to worry because he is making a journey on foot towards Assisi.

A profound crisis, a spiritual anguish that even leads him to think of having to go to Africa to help poor people. But then he gives up. To make him change his mind some homeless people met at the central station of Palermo. Biagio understands that even the land where he was born needs his mission, his help and his sacrifice.

He takes it into his head that he has to give the last ones a roof to live under and he succeeds. After various appeals to the institutions and several hunger strikes, the Hope and Charity Mission was born in Palermo in 1993 in via Archirafi which in 30 years has saved many souls who had lost their way, homeless people, the poor, the elderly left alone, separated fathers , unemployed…

For many, the lay missionary Biagio is the new St. Francis of Assisi, one who speaks to people’s hearts and who sacrificed his life to help others less fortunate than him. The one who left a comfortable life, stripping himself of all his possessions, to live last with the last and fighting for them. As in 2018, when yet another hunger strike begins because it sees too much indifference towards the poor and homeless. Thousands went under the colonnade of the central post office to support him and the institutions were not deaf to his appeal. The branch of the Mission in via Decollati obtained the funds to be able to expand and there was room for other poor people.

During the lockdown he roamed the streets of the suburbs of Palermo to give support and comfort to those forced to stay at home.

Biagio Conte died on this January 12, 2023, consuming himself like a candle in recent months, worn out by stomach cancer that gave him no escape. He waited for death in his little wooden room in via Decollati, surrounded by the love of his Brothers and of the many Palermitans who went to see him for days praying with him and for him. After a long agony he said goodbye to this earthly life, but after having sown love, hope and brotherhood. The Mission will continue his work by continuing his enormous work of Christian charity.

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