Comboni, on this day

Udienza con Pio IX (1870) assieme a mons. di Canossa
Al card. Franchi, 1875
Cristo risuscitò dopo aver subito la morte di Croce. Egli ci aiuti a morire per amore suo e per la salvezza dell’infelice Nigrizia


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Count Luigi di Carpegna
AFC, Pesaro

Dearest Count!

Limone 10/10 1862
I do not want to leave my home town of Limone without sending you a line to renew my special thanks and letting you know of the great affection I have for you and for your dear family. O dear Count, from the time that I left Carpegna I cannot spend an instant without thinking of you and without seeing you, Guido and the Countess as the source of all my happiness. I do not have the words to tell you how precious it was to me to be trusted by you with the knowledge of what is upsetting your family. But let us leave this now, for it will be the subject of our future correspondence. I am pleased to send you my most sincere wishes for the 18th of this month, the anniversary of your most fortunate wedding to Countess Ludmilla. Oh, my dear friend; may God be with you every instant, and guide your every step along the path of happiness, order and Religion! These are the subjects to which I aspire daily.
Transeat on all this for now; and let me tell you something of myself, my dear Count. Your grandfather, His Most Illustrious Excellency, as you assured me, made a few great gaffes. You too, Excellency also Most Illustrious, have confessed to me that you’ve made the odd gaffe yourself. But if you only knew! I too have made one of sorts, the likes of which I never made on my long and difficult journeys, and my heart is bursting to tell you about it. On the road from Rimini to Monte Cerignone, I lost an oriental gilt purse containing 5 coins of 20 francs and 9 coins of 10 francs. What do you expect? The joy of being among you and with you made me forget to write immediately to S. Marino to search for them, and my conscience was so upset by the baseness of this solemn blunder that I did not have the courage to tell you about it. Only during the last few days when I was faced with the need to depart, was I just able to find the courage to tell Ludmilla, who was a guardian angel to me, because the kind soul lent me 30 scudos. Ah! dear Count, we all make mistakes. You too had to know about the blunder I made. Now I am happy. Let me tell you how much I love you. Remember me, for it pleases me to live in your memory and to proclaim myself with all my affection

Your sincere friend,

Fr Daniel

President of the Society of Cologne
“Jahresbericht…” 12 (1862), p. 48–49

Verona, 22 October 1862

Reverend Sir,
I write to inform you that through your bounty, on 21st October, by way of the Fratelli Smania company, I received 370 gold francs. I am infinitely grateful for the love you have shown as regards my young Africans. I bless Providence who in her inscrutable ways never abandons those who place their trust exclusively in her. Our young Africans pray each day for all the members of your pious Society. This year 16 missionaries whom I sent off from Trieste have died in Central Africa. By educating young Africans in Europe and Cairo to serve in the missions, we hope to compensate for the heavy losses of missionaries.
I renew my cordial thanks and pray to God etc.

Fr Daniel Comboni,
Apostolic Missionary

P.S. I must give a Retreat at present; as soon as I am free I shall fully inform you of the results and progress of the pupils entrusted to my direction.

Translation from the German.

Signatures for Masses
A Commendatore
22. 4.1863
N. 94 (1237) – TO A COMMENDATORE
APT – Brescia

Verona, 22 April 1863

Distinguished Commendatore!
The kindness and bounty with which Your Excellency deigned to welcome me last autumn when the noble Cavaliere Negri, Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sent me to You so that I might present some of my pleas in favour and support of the renowned Archpriest of Toscolano who in our area deserves very well of his religion and his country and who not long ago was afflicted in various ways by the high-handedness of the Bishop and the events which have just stricken him as a result of threats from the Curia of Brescia, to the supreme regret of his cultivated and numerous flock which deservedly loves and appreciates him, have spurred me once again to submit my written plea to you, that you may deign to accept with benevolence the protests which the above-mentioned most worthy Archpriest, Fr Pietro Grana, is about to present to you and which concern matters pertaining to Your Illustrious Excellency’s office. At the same time I beg you kindly both to protect him and to manifest to him in writing, or in any manner you may please, your approval and the outcome of his supplications. As I offer you my thanks, I ask your kind forgiveness for the disturbance I have caused you, certain that you will find in the person I recommend to you that gratitude and compliance which is proper to a well-bred person and a son of so generous a country. I take this opportunity to offer you my service, and declare myself with all respect

Your Illustrious Excellency’s most humble and devoted servant,

Fr Daniel Comboni, Apostolic Missionary of Central Africa

Can. Giovanni C. Mitterrutzner
10. 5.1863
ACR, A, c. 15/60

Verona, 10 May 1863

Most Illustrious and Very Reverend Father!
This time I must ask you in your bounty to forgive me for having delayed too long in telling you that I received the maps, for which we are most grateful, and about the photographs which I have not yet been able to send you. As soon as I received your first letter I sent a certain cleric photographer from our Institute to Lotze with the right sum to retrieve the photograph; but when Lotze Senior searched among the negatives he did not find yours. However, he postponed looking further until the return of his son who was away and had been the one to take our photographs. Meanwhile, there were the Easter celebrations during which, having finished my Lenten ministry at S. Zeno on the octave of Easter, I went to my village in Lombardy for a bit of a rest.
Returning for the month of Mary when I am preaching in S. Anastasia, I sent the above-mentioned cleric to Lotze’s son to find the negative. While I was expecting to receive the six or seven copies, I heard only yesterday that the cleric, Reverend Bettanini, had gone home to Venice because he was ill; so I myself went to see Lotze today, and only today did I learn that not even his son has the negative because it was destroyed. This is the true story of the reason for my delay. In any case I confess I am guilty because I should have written and confirmed that I had received your letter, the money and the maps, and I hope I shall be granted a kind pardon. I promise you that from now on I will take greater care to write. As for the photographs, I undertake to reproduce them from one which I have in my album dressed as an Arab, and as soon as they are done I shall send them to you.
Forgive me, forgive me, I am really sorry to have been unworthy of your indulgence and to have abused your kindness. After six months of poor health the Superior is a little better. I hope you are well. We Africans are well, and with God’s grace we are working because in addition to dealing with many problems, Fr Beltrame and I are preaching non-stop. Please accept very special greetings from my good old man who is so immensely fond of the pious Pius that he would die for him. We know nothing new about Africa, except that the brother, Giuseppe, is back in Europe. Remember me at Holy Mass; we all send you our most cordial greetings. Give my respects to the Holy Bishop of Brixen and believe me as I declare myself for life in the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Your most affectionate friend,

Fr Daniel Comboni

Countess Ludmilla di Carpegna
15. 5.1863

Verona, 15 May 1863

My Noble Countess!
The infinite majesty of God, whose nature is the fullness of the being who created all things without creating things out of any necessity, that mighty and terrible God who works miracles in Heaven and on earth, who walks on the backs of great eagles and causes the world’s hills to fold beneath the ways of His eternity, who calls things that are not, as well as things that are, who carries all with the word of his power, who just nods and the universe bends to his command, who touches the mountains and they smoke, who looks at the earth and it throbs, who shouts at the sea and in fear it withdraws, infinite wisdom that sees all in the dense fog of the future, who penetrates all the nooks and crannies of the present and scrutinises hearts, who writes and engraves in indelible characters the journal of human life, this provident and most merciful God, in his immense charity, in his eternal decrees established that more than thirty years ago in the beautiful month of May when nature smiles, he would have to write in the book of life the venerated name of a predestined soul who, on the 21st, came to breathe her first breath of life on earth in the immense barren lands of the freezing north. Then by disposition of Providence, this soul left the joys of her native lands and came to the heart of Catholicism to renounce Photius’s false doctrines, bow her devout head before the tomb of the fisherman of Galilee and spend her days among sufferings and joys in the service of the Lord.
Lady Countess! The 21st, the anniversary of your precious birth, is a blessed day, a holy day, a predestined day that recalls God’s mercy. Therefore on that day, if God gives me life, I too will be glad to participate in the beloved Carpegna family’s jubilee to celebrate your most fortunate birth. Since I shall be far from Rome and unable to share in the family’s joy in person, I nevertheless flatter myself that I shall take part in that celebration as though I were present. Since the centre of communication between our hearts is God who binds them, although we are far apart, in the sacred bond of the most loyal friendship and sincerest affection, please accept my heartfelt congratulations and good wishes for all your life. And in order that my sentiments may be sanctified by religion, on that most propitious day I shall celebrate the Holy Sacrifice to the Sacred Heart for you, so that Providence may deign to pour down upon your head the torrent of his divine graces and the river of his earthly blessings.
I take this opportunity to pray you to write tome at length, at your leisure and if it is not damaging to your health, about you and the family, and what has happened this year. I know I also have many things to write to you about in reply to the last of your dear letters which I have received this year, which are all the dearer to me since you wrote them in a rather poor state of health: I cannot write immediately because I am extremely busy. Remember me with all my love to my dear Count, to Guido, to Fr Luigi, to Mannucci, to the friends, to Mazzoni, etc., etc., as in the midst of my daily preaching I have the fortune to sign myself “éternellement”

your most devoted

Fr Daniel

Fr. Pietro Grana
19. 5.1863
ACR, A. c. 15/44

My dear Fr Pietro!

Verona, 19/5 1863
I asked the little rascal Elisa to find out about Avvocato Bernardi’s girl who now lives in Salò and I have still not heard anything. Patience! I ask you to do so at your convenience. I send you the photograph of Passaglia. I recall with great pleasure the day spent with the people of Toscolano and their worthy Pastor.
But I ask you to do one very urgent thing as a friend; and you must take it on as though it were your own and more. In March which has just ended I had a parcel posted in Bogliaco which I addressed to Mgr Limberti, Archbishop of Florence. This parcel contained the documents and writings of the deceased Marchesa di Canossa, foundress of the Institute of Charity, which her nephew the Bishop of Verona entrusted tome, to be sent to Rome to introduce the cause for her beatification, since she died in 1835 in the odour of sanctity. So you see, this is a serious matter. Now the parcel did not reach Florence and the Archbishop writes to me that perhaps some wretched Italian policeman might have wanted to get the credit for trying, but in vain, to do him harm. The parcel was posted in Bogliaco as you will see from the receipt, and as stated by the official receipt from the office, which is in Limone.
I now want to take official action. Then if I do not find it I will go to the ministry and have a good many put in prison, because I myself am going to have all the offices checked, from Bogliaco to Florence. I have written to the ministry in Turin and Cavaliere Rizzi answers me that I should first oblige the post-office in Bogliaco to make a direct claim as far as Florence; should nothing turn up, the Ministry will assume the investigation unofficially. Those stupid people in Limone, to save eight francs went to the Messaggeria Mazzoldi which perhaps uses Franchetti and not the government postal service for its own correspondence. Many will be in trouble if my package does not turn up. You know that I have long fingers, and I fear neither distances nor expense.
Now I beg you to go yourself, or to entrust the matter to an appropriate person, e.g. Fr Bortolino: I beg you as I said, to please go to Bogliaco to Giovanni Bertamini with the enclosed receipt and ask him to check immediately from office to office to trace the parcel, but immediately, as far as Florence and to do so relying throughout on the respective registrations. If you do me this favour and immediately let me know the result, you will give me great pleasure. So I commend this matter to you. I am on tenterhooks, and have not yet said anything to the Bishop. I await your answer. Farewell.
Greet Elisa for me, the Frenchman, the Mayor and all our good acquaintances in Toscolo, especially the Priests. Remember me too to Madame Perpetua and believe me always with all my heart

Your most affectionate friend

Fr Daniel

After you have shown the enclosed receipt to the Mazzoldi office, keep it yourself and hold it for me.

Fr. Pietro Grana
27. 5.1863
ACR, A, c. 15/45

Verona, 27 May 1863

My dear Fr Pietro!
Your letter gave me great pleasure because it assured me that my parcel was not lost. You did well to frank it and I hope that it is now in the Archbishop’s hands, but I am longing for you to send the receipt. As regards the money for the franking, count on it that I will repay you at the first possible opportunity. You must realise, however, that the Archbishop did not receive it, and although the parcel reached Florence, his employees refused it. But it must have been stolen because otherwise I don’t understand why it is in Turin when it should have been returned to Bogliaco. I thank you with all my heart. Fr Castellini’s protégée is ill. I hope she will recover. But I do not remember whether I am the one who must continue to pay her money on his behalf. Until March I gave her a florin. In April and in May, two Austrian pounds. Please ask Fr Bortolo if I should continue, because in the midst of a thousand worries I do not remember the orders I was given. Tell Elisa to let me know, because if we keep procrastinating it is all pointless.
Please remember

your most affectionate friend,

Fr Daniel

Fr. Pietro Grana
2. 6.1863
ACR, A, c. 15/46


[Short note].

Fr. Pietro Grana
8. 6.1863
N. 100 (97) – TO FR PIETRO GRANA
ACR, A, c. 15/47

My dear Fr Pietro!

Verona, 8/6 1863
The Archbishop of Florence had not yet received my packet by the 5th of this month. He wrote to me himself that he had never refused anything addressed to him. He is a most charitable man. Through a friend of mine in Florence I had a search made at the post-offices and mail services to discover whether a package directed to this Archbishop had ever arrived, and found that it never did. You see, dear Fr Pietro, the fraudulence of those Mazzoldi! So I ask you why was the package delivered to Turin, instead of being returned to Bogliaco from where it was mailed? Because, I answer, among the employees lurked some Satanic fiend who in order to ingratiate himself with the government, abused the sacred seal of the post. But the government was most prudent and careful and, it seems, if what they wrote to me from Turin is true, that they had nothing to do with it. In any case, I request the receipt I sent you, which I had made out for me by the post-office in Bogliaco, and Fr Bortolo’s receipt for one and a half francs; with these and the other things in my possession I am going immediately to Turin to see about it myself.
I mailed the package more than two months ago, indeed, three: and it has still not arrived in Florence. Therefore please send me these two receipts. Forgive me for causing you so much trouble. The Archbishop is surprised that these vile methods are used. My parcel is worth more than a million because it contains the documents of a saint, the Marchesa di Canossa. Someone will be in trouble with the Italian Government, and if the cause is not defended as I wish, France will assume responsibility for it. The scoundrel who dared to cause the delay will be unmasked.
Then I am amazed by the employees of the Messaggeria Mazzoldi, which deservedly enjoys such a reputation for its deliveries and efficient service. One of them will pay for it, since I will certainly not let the matter rest and I have the wherewithal to pay for everything.
To be more explicit: should the package suddenly arrive and the Archbishop lets me know immediately, then instead of going to the ministry without delay, I will check the postal stages. But as for that scoundrel, I am set on finding him. In the meantime please warn the employee in Bogliaco that he must immediately lodge a complaint along the mailing route so that the package reaches its destination, and find some answer to give you that is not a pack of lies, such as that the Archbishop refused it, but a truthful one, for no one gets away with making fun of me.
Give Fr Bortolo and Elisa my greetings, and accept me as

your affectionate friend,

Fr Daniel