New Humanity Movement

Ethnicities and Cultures

bussare“Faced with the facts of life I find myself giving advice to people according to how I feel at that particular moment (...) nevertheless when I start my counselling with charity, I never make a mistake.” (Igino Giordani).  This is what Angela Taschini, an Italian lady from the Piedmont region, together with her husband, Enzo, did to help a young couple in difficulty.

by Angela Taschini - Italy

I am in Church attending the afternoon mass.  The parish priest is already before the altar, when I notice somebody climb up the altar steps to talk to him.  I have a perception of an urgent and serious problem.

Sensing the young man needed something urgently I try to look for him after mass.  Alexander, this is his name, he has not eaten for some time and his clothes were very wet.  His fingers were frozen:  the weather prediction that evening was for a very cold night with heavy snowfalls.

“On a night like this no one should stay outside”, I tell him.  If you like you can come to my house; I live closeby, at 21 Rome Street.  I just would like you to please come a little later so I can notify my husband you are coming.”

Although Enzo (my husband) agreed to my decision, he was a bit worried about my unexpected decision.  It started to snow heavily outside, while the hours passed by, nobody arrives.

At around 9.00 PM someone knocks at the door:  a trembling Alexander, totally frozen is outside.  I invite him to come in and give him dry clothes including a new sweater I had just bought that morning.

He tells us that on his way here, driving his worn-out scooter, he had to pass by the Ovada hospital to confine his pregnant partner.  He eats his hot meal silently looking down, and then I show him to his room.

When we wake up the next morning we find the whole town densely covered in snow.  Alexander expresses his wish to go to Genoa to look for work.  I provide him with the timetable for the buses leaving Capriata, a few Euros for his fares and a bit of food.

Alexander returns after two days:  he went all over Genoa, from top to bottom but without any results, just a little dishwashing job in a pub for 5 Euros an hour.  He slept in the waiting room of the train station.  Then he tells me other details in his life: he and his partner used to work in a villa for one of the richest people in his town.  They lived in the attic, but when Christina became pregnant, she started to have health problems and they were dismissed.

For days on end Alexander continues to look for work, but finds only casual work.  In the meantime Christina leaves the hospital and finds a small job as a carer.

From contacts with other people in trying to solve Alexander’s problems, someone gives me an advice inspired by the “human caution” that tells you to let go, and not be too concerned anymore.

I remember the experience of a friend from Liguria, Pierangelo.  I know he is particularly sensitive to problems of people in difficulty.  A small miracle happens:  Pierangelo with an open disposition, is ready, he listens to me with particular concern, and he is so full of life.  I am moved to tears.  He gives much precious advice and asks me to keep him up to date with the developments on Alexander’s case.  It was truly a boost of hope and enthusiasm.

Furthermore, during the day, I receive several phone calls from other friends all over Liguria who live the same ideal of universal fraternity like meIt is a great joy for Enzo and me to discover a big “family” in our zone.  I share with them our experience with AlexanderEnzo is no longer worried about having Alexander in our house.

With Enzo I go to the town hall to engage also the Mayor, whom I know is a practical and helpful person.  He asks us to come back the next day with Alexander, but Alexander was out of town.  I did not know how to get in touch with him. So I go back to the hospital where Christina was confined; the nurse whom I had helped find a job there would be able to give me her address.  But after looking for her in the hospital computer files we do not find any details about the Romanian.  Doctors and nurses start to look at me with irony and give me funny smiles.

I am confused and discouraged, then at home I open a book of Igino Giornani, “Diary of Fire”, I read a phrase that helps me: “Faced with the facts of life I find myself giving advice according to how I feel at that particular moment (...)  nevertheless I never make a mistake when I start my counselling with charity.”

Later on Alexander arrives, and without asking him, he shows me Christina’s documents which show her first name is Gabrielle; she likes to be called Christina.  That explains the mystery of not finding her in the hospital records.

The next day I accompany Alexander to the Mayor.  We are able to find him a job and a house, with the keys given to us that same afternoon.  It is a small apartment in the old people’s centre, between the parish and the municipal hall.

A race of solidarity in the town, with the people living with me for a united world, is set in motion.  Linen, clothes, cooking pots, even a small TV arrive.  The mayor himself comes with a Christmas basket.  On top of this it was decided to give to the couple and their child who is about to be born, a part of the funds raised for the living Nativity crib.

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