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Brother Biagio Conte, the Last Angel in the Heart of the Mediterranean

The wonderful documentary photography about the history of Brother Biagio Conte, produced by Giacomo Palermo and Pulitzer Prize candidate

by Giacomo Palermo
Biagio Conte (portraited), founder of Missione di Speranza e Carità O.n.l.u.s. (Palermo), miracolouslly healed in Lourdes from a patology forcing him into a wheelchair. The miracle was officially recognized by the Catholic Church. 52

BIAGIO, THE LAST ANGEL IN THE HEART OF MEDITERRANEAN (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

Biagio Conte (portraited), founder of Missione di Speranza e Carità O.n.l.u.s. (Palermo), miracolouslly healed in Lourdes from a patology forcing him into a wheelchair. The miracle was officially recognized by the Catholic Church. 52

Happiness for two

THE BAPTISM OF A BABY GIRL BORN IN THE MISSION (Ph. by Giacomo Palermo)

Happiness for two



Fr. Pino lits up a lamp for a little girl hosted in the mission during the Pentecost mass

FR. PINOS’ PENTECOST (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

Fr. Pino lits up a lamp for a little girl hosted in the mission during the Pentecost mass

Brother Giovanni, one of the 5 pillars of the mission, distributes food to the poors of the mission

FEEDING THE HUNGRY (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

Brother Giovanni, one of the 5 pillars of the mission, distributes food to the poors of the mission

Volounteers and people hosted by the mission farming lands confiscated to mafia

FARMING LANDS CONFISCATED TO MAFIA (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

Volounteers and people hosted by the mission farming lands confiscated to mafia

 In Biagio Conte’s mission, children of various nationalities are a seed uf multi-culturalism and pacific coexistence for the future world

A NEW GENERATION BEING BORN (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

In Biagio Conte’s mission, children of various nationalities are a seed uf multi-culturalism and pacific coexistence for the future world

Far reaching sights

THE MISSIONARY AND THE CHILD (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

Far reaching sights

All the water for the mission comes from here

THE WATER WELL (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

All the water for the mission comes from here

FOUR BROTHERS AND THE SYMBOL OF THE MISSION UNDER THE SUN (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

Biagio Conte with the mission’s mascot

BEFORE THE MIRACLE (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

Biagio Conte with the mission’s mascot

Biagio during the Peace and Solidarity march at the end of which he met Pope Francis in Rome

AFTER THE MIRACLE (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

Biagio during the Peace and Solidarity march at the end of which he met Pope Francis in Rome

Biagio close to a person hosted in the mission, in the last moments of life at the end of a merciless disease

VISITING THE SICK (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

Biagio close to a person hosted in the mission, in the last moments of life at the end of a merciless disease

PRAYING (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

The laundry of the mission, gift of italian and foreigner benefactors

THE LAUNDRY (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

The laundry of the mission, gift of italian and foreigner benefactors

A guest of the mission seeking a job in the local newspaper

SEEKING A BETTER FUTURE (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

A guest of the mission seeking a job in the local newspaper

Guests are more than friends: they are brothers 68

BROTHERHOOD (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

Guests are more than friends: they are brothers 68

The multireligious prayer composed by Giorgio La Pira, before eating

THE MULTIRELIGIOUS PRAYER (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

The multireligious prayer composed by Giorgio La Pira, before eating

The promotion of the poorest of the Earth starts from the land

THE HOPE (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

The promotion of the poorest of the Earth starts from the land

The sisters share the weight of the mission

SHARING (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

The sisters share the weight of the mission

Before the protests against the indifference towards the poorest

THE HERMIT (Ph. Giacomo Palermo)

Before the protests against the indifference towards the poorest

At age 26, Brother Biagio Conte left his life and a wealthy entrepreneurial future to devote himself entirely to the poor, the last ones that contemporary society abandoned to their fate. He risked his life several times. He supported thousands of people with incredible stories: people that came from Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Congo, Togo, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Palestine and Iraq.

“In this confusion the temptation becomes stronger to risk being swept away towards types of messianism which give promises but create illusions.”  (Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI – Development of Peoples 1967).

For this reason, the Mission of Hope and Charity of Palermo comes from the experience of those who seek the truth, true freedom and true peace, detached from the materialistic and consumeristic world. The Mission welcomes and assists over 1,000 people (women fleeing from persecution and slavery, men and children) thanks to the work of the missionaries: Brother Biagio, Don Pino, Brother John, Sister Mattia, Sister Alessandra and Sister Lucia, the active collaboration of brothers and sisters, and the great help of over 600 volunteers. Each community has a kitchen and a canteen where three meals a day are prepared and provided, and medical and pharmaceutical assistance are guaranteed to all, and welcomed showers and clothing services are provided to the many poor who knock daily on the door of Mission. Divided into three communities: two intended for ‘men welcome’ and for the hospitality of individual women or mothers with children. The founder of the Mission is Brother Biagio Conte, of the Italian Lay Missionary of St. Francis. A charitable man, brave and peaceful, he openly fights against poverty, indifference, environmental disasters, wars, the Mafia, opulence, corruption, selfishness, slavery of women and racism, in a difficult land like Sicily.

At age 26, Brother Biagio Conte left his life and a wealthy entrepreneurial  future to devote himself entirely to the poor, the last ones that contemporary society abandoned to their fate. He risked his life several times to snatch. He supported thousands of people with incredible stories: people that came from Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Congo, Togo, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Palestine and Iraq. They arrived in Sicily after facing a harrowing journey, crammed into boats. They survived any kind of problem. They found in Biagio’s support a place to sleep, a bowl of soup, a loaf of bread, a place where they were not treated as different, as aliens.

On 16 January 2014 it was announced that Brother Biagio Conte (who for years has been confined to a wheelchair because of some crushed vertebrae due to the exhaustingly hard work which has gone into the mission) started walking last summer through a scientifically inexplicable healing after he entered the Holy Waters of Lourdes. The Curia of Palermo has officially stated that it is a miracle. Since 2015, he has walked the spiritual walk by foot and with a cross on his shoulders from Sicily until he reached Pope Francesco I (he met with His Holiness at Santa Marta Church in a private audience). Next summer, he plans on reaching the European Alps.

 

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