THE PATRON SAINTS OF THE SEMINARY
The seminary enjoys the special protection of two patron saints who have accompanied it since its erection, of whom it jealously guards small relics.
During the solemn Eucharist at the end of the cohabitation in Porto San Giorgio, which saw the formation of the first nucleus of the seminar on 21 September 2013, were extracted at random among several relics made available by the Congregation of Saints for the missions of the Neocatechumenal Way, fragments ex ossibus of two saints: St. Bede the Venerable and Blessed Giovanni Liccio from Caccamo.
The relics are kept in the chapel of the seminary surmounted by an icon made specifically. In it, the two saints, despite having lived in completely different periods and places, are united in the special mission of supporting us in evangelization.
Both are on the way, as apostles sent, and always on the move to bring the Good News. The foot before laps the waters of a baptismal font, but it does not sink into it: he who clings to the cross and reaches the resurrection can walk on the waters of death, that is, he can pass over the difficulties of life, in which, without a relationship with God, We feel like we’re sinking, suffocating and dying.
Yet the source of life is the baptism that gives us to be called "children of God". And this is the mission of all Christians: to proclaim to the world that does not know the resurrection, full of people who do not know how to come to the head of many difficult and hopeless situations, to make it known that Jesus is alive, that Christ is risen.
The mission of the seminary is to form men and priests who are first and foremost Christians rooted in the faith, who have a living relationship with Christ, who have seen him walk on the waters and have heard him say: "Peace to you, do not be afraid".
The astile cross amid of the two saints represents Christ the King and the Priest victor of death. He does not hang from the gallows, but is alive and upright and looks with love at those who look to him. From the intersection of the two poles of the cross the light of the resurrection that indicates the way to the evangelization of the whole world comes out. Under the cross is Mary, in the act of guarding and meditating on all that happens to her Son in the heart. Mary, Redemptoris Mater, teaches us to stay under the cross, not to flee, to help carry it, knowing that it unites us deeply to Christ.
The cross is supported by a tripod, which indicates the charism of the Neocatechumenal Way: Liturgy, Word, and Community, the three elements of community life, where the Word becomes flesh in the life of the brothers, who can live together in the communion of the Eucharistic mystery of Christ.
The two saints are represented according to the iconographic canons attributed to them. On the right St. Bede the Venerable in simple and austere monastic clothes ends by writing a prayer of intercession. Blessed Giovanni Liccio in Dominican clothes holds the rosary, a devotion spread by the spiritual sons of St. Dominic of Guzmán.
SAINT BEDE THE VENERABLE
He was born in 672/673 in England. At the age of 7, he was welcomed at the monastery of San Pietro in Wearmouth. His education was entrusted to the founder of the monastery, Abbot San Benedetto Biscop.
In 685 he was transferred to the monastery of Saint Paul in Jarrow. At the age of 19, he was ordained as a deacon and at 30 he was ordained as a priest. He hardly ever leaves Jarrow except for visits to Lindisfarne and York. The relics of Bede are preserved in a chapel in Durham Cathedral. He returns to the Father on 25 May 735. And this remains the liturgical day of his memory.
He was an Anglo-Saxon theologian, historian, and chronologist. His writings and theological works, his commentaries on the Holy Scriptures, and his entire life devoted to study, prayer, and meditation earned him the title of "Venerable".
A curiosity: the episcopal motto chosen by Pope Francis is: "Miserando atque eligendo" - that is: "looked with mercy and chose it"
The expression is contained in a passage from Homily 21 of St Bede the Venerable on the feast of St Matthew the Apostle: Jesus saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office, and said to him, "Follow me" (Mt 9:9). He saw not so much with the eyes of the body as with that of inner goodness. He saw a tax collector and, as he looked at him with a feeling of love and chose him - miserando atque eligendo -, he said to him: "Follow me”.
BLESSED GIOVANNI LICCIO OF CACCAMO
He was born in Caccamo - in Sicily, in April 1426 to humble peasants. The mother dies shortly after giving birth to him and his father entrusts him to the care of his sister who grows up with many difficulties. At the age of sixteen, he decided to embrace the monastic life, entered the Dominican convent of Saint Zita in Palermo, where he met Peter Jeremiah who invited him to enter the order of Friars Preachers and matured his human, cultural and spiritual stature.
Giovanni first became a professor of theology at the studium of the Dominicans in Palermo and then an itinerant preacher reaching every corner of the island, to deserve the title of "preacher of Sicily".
He was later called to preach for long periods in Vicenza (1466-1467) and Naples (1479). With utmost prudence, he carries out important tasks in the Dominican Order. In 1488 he was elected vicar and canonical visitor of the reformed Dominican convents in Sicily and was also called to carry out missions in the service of various Masters General of the Dominican Order. After returning to Caccamo, his hometown, he founded the Dominican convent with the adjoining church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. During the construction of the convent, there is a succession of wonders performed through his intercession. He died in Caccamo on November 14, 1511.
His liturgical memorial is linked to his Dies Natalis in November, but the tradition of the people of Caccamo celebrates solemnly the memory of the venerable fellow citizen also on the first Sunday and Monday of May.