St. John Baptist Scalabrini
St. John Baptist Scalabrini (1839-1905), Bishop of Piacenza, lived the drama of the exodus of migrants who,during the last decades of the nineteenth century, traveled in great numbers from Europe to the countries in the New World. He clearly saw the need for a specific pastoral care of migrants through a suitable network of spiritual assistance. In this perspective, and giving proof of a keen spiritual insight and a concrete practical sense, he founded the Congregation of the Missionary Priests and the Missionary Sisters of Saint Charles. He strongly supported the need for legislative and institutional instruments for the human and juridical protection of the migrants against all forms of exploitation.
Today, in different situations, the spiritual sons and daughters of Msgr. Scalabrini, who were later joined by the "Secular Institute of the Scalabrinian Missionary Women", continue to give witness to Christ's love for migrants and to offer them the Gospel. In 1998, John Paul II declared him Blessed and defined him as the "Father of Migrants".