Rome (Agenzia Fides) - On 17 October, on the day of his death 59 years ago, the diocesan phase of the cause of beatification and canonization of Cardinal Celso Costantini (1876-1958) opens in the Cathedral of Concordia Sagittaria, diocese of Concordia-Pordenone. Parish priest and later general vicar of this diocese, at the end of World War I he committed himself to reorganizing the pastoral activity, reconstruct destroyed churches and assist the survivors, as well as promoting Christian art. Apostolic Administrator of Fiume, he worked for the salvation of this martyred city in particularly difficult historical circumstances.
"He was appointed Apostolic Delegate in China, he presided over the first Chinese Council in 1924, firmly committed to the formation of the local clergy and prepared the consecration of the first Chinese Bishops, in 1927 he founded the Congregatio Discipulorum Domini, the first Chinese male religious institute, inaugurated the Chinese Catholic Action and Fu Jen University in Beijing. As Secretary of the Holy Congregation of Propaganda Fide, he became involved in the establishment of indigenous hierarchies and Christian inculturation. During the Second World War, many people were in danger of life. Having become Cardinal and Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, he pledged for peace in the world and for the renewal of the Church, and this is why he proposed the convening of an ecumenical council".
"There is huge expectation in the diocese, because the figure of Celso Costantini is extremely alive", says to Agenzia Fides Mgr. Bruno Fabio Pighin, Episcopal Delegate for the Cause, Ordinary Professor of Canon Law in Venice, explaining that from the well-known historical figure, traits of Constantini’s sanctity were revealed, and adds: "We have already testimonies of graces and it is believed they were received for his intercession". Cardinal Costantini wrote a lot, and on the one hand this facilitates the investigation work on some aspects, on the other it increases the complexity, emphasizes Mgr. Pighin.
At the opening of the diocesan phase there will be some thirty priests, all of Chinese origin, of the Congregatio Discipulorum Domini, founded by Constantini, led by the Superior General and his Council, who are in Italy for the 90th anniversary of the institute and the opening of the process. For this reason, they were received during the audience by Pope Francis, who "was particularly pleased to welcome them", says Mgr. Pighin who accompanied them. One of them, Father Simon Ee Kim Chong, who is currently studying in Italy, was appointed Vice Postulator of the cause of beatification. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 13/10/2017)