Ersilio’s heart

Monsignor Ersilio Tonino (1914-2013) led the Church of Ravenna from 1975 t0 1990. As soon as he arrived in the city, he decided to live at the Opera Santa Teresa, and there he remained until his death, on 28 July 2013. He was one of the best-loved, most respected figures in the Italian Church in the second half of the 20th century; his marked passion for social commitment found expression in a special attention for the world of work, for the poor and the marginalised. On his many travels and his talks and articles – he was a respected journalist and commentator – he was always a staunch witness to the beauty and special nature of the Opera Santa Teresa. It was he who said: “I shall never cease to thank the Lord for this Opera, because, having chosen to live here rather than in the Bishop’s Palace, I realise today that this has been a great grace for me, because this community has entered my heart. I am happy here and made calm with all my heart. I truly bless the Lord for the great graces that have been done to me in my poor life.”

“The figure of Don Angelo Lolli emerges in his personal relationship of prayer, in his love for Christ the Lord, to whom he bore witness through his charity towards the wretched. Don Lolli felt within himself the love of God, he felt it to the very marrow of his soul, deep within, in the depths of his soul. He felt as though he was pursued by this need to testify, to respond, to reveal it. And when the opportunity arose, at that moment he acted with all his soul. In other words, everything Don Lolli did was a manner of responding to the love of Christ the Lord, accepting that in him, Christ loved his creatures. And that is the only way in which Christ speaks, in which Christ acts, in which Christ loves.”
Cardinal Ersilio Tonini (from his testimony at the diocesan inquiry for the beatification Of Don Angelo Lolli, 24 April 2006)