Polistena, 28 November 2015. It was left to the city of Polistena, a small village lying at the foot of the Aspromonte massif, to play host to the penultimate event of ‘Solidarity Week – The Hunger of our Neighbour’, a charitable project in aid of people in need in the region, promoted, as many of you will remember, by the Delegation of Calabria in response to our Grand Master’s charity appeal. The Delegation was keen to follow up on the Grand Master’s call for humanitarian help with a wide range of initiatives delivering relief services in close partnership with other aid agencies. More specifically, a consignment of basic commodities, donated by Esselunga S.p.A., was despatched to the Parish of ‘Santa Marina Vergine e Martire’ (‘St Marina Virgin and Martyr’) where voluntary association ‘Il Samaritano’ (‘The Samaritan’) is regularly engaged in providing humanitarian assistance as well as actively contributing to the dissemination of the Christian ‘doctrine of love’ through several different projects aimed at tackling and preventing the ills of social exclusion and malaise (as evidenced by their work in support of young people with disabilities, individuals facing distress, underage youth confronted by social issues). After the donation ceremony, which took place at the same venue run by the Association, Holy Mass was officiated by Mons. Giuseppe Demasi, generally referred to as ‘Don Pino’. Mons. Demasi is a ‘front-line’ prelate, Vicar General to the Diocese of ‘Oppido-Mamertina-Palmi’, Representative for the ‘Libera in Calabria’ Association as well as a recent winner of the prestigious ‘Paolo Borsellino National Award’, usually conferred in recognition of significant acts of bravery and committed actions guided by moral integrity with the aim of fighting back violence and injustice within the social domain. We would like to pay tribute to Don Pino’s tangible commitment to society and his successful efforts in the administration of property and assets seized from organised crime group ‘Ndrangheta’. His work offers high hopes for the many law-abiding and honest people in the South who, sharing a common desire to bring back law and order, move forward and live together peacefully, still place their trust in the State and its institutions. Don Pino extended warmest thanks to our Order for its charitable activities: “….for you fed the hungry, and gave a drink to the thirsty and clothes to the naked who came knocking at the door here at ‘The Samaritan’…”. Turning emotional, Vice Delegate Aurelio Badolati, Commander of Merit with Star, explained how “…it would be a great joy for us, as members of the Constantinian Order, if we had managed to make only one person smile when there was really a need for it”. Little did the Vice Delegate know that shortly before his speech, a boy from Mali, rushed to a hospital emergency unit, had previously been handed undergarments donated by the Order. Attending the ceremony were the following Knights of Merit: Rocco Gatto and Pasquale Zavaglia along with the Coordinator for the Benefactors Roberto Bendini.
Our charity tour is to move to Cosenza next for the last event of ‘Solidarity Week’.