Comboni, on this day

In questo giorno (1871) da Vienna scrive a mons. di Canossa:
Ricevo anche da Lione e Parigi, e così i mezzi entrano nell’haec omnia adiicientur vobis, e noi possiamo consacrarci completamente al quaesite primum regnum Dei et iustitiam eius.

Writings

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81
Fr. Nicola Olivieri
0
Verona
8. 3.1862
N. 81 (79) – TO FR NICOLA OLIVIERI
APCV, 287/90

Verona, 8 March 1862

Most Reverend Father!
[683]
Much time has passed since I last had news of Fr Biagio. I know that he has left Cairo. Fr Lodovico wrote to me from Naples to say that the last three young African girls to have reached Rome are already at the College in the Parthenopean capital. I am very pleased about that. My dearest Fr Nicola, is it possible that we are going to be unable to make an expedition to East Africa to rescue 500 souls? I am impatient to see you in Verona with Fr Biagio to talk about this.
[684]
Fr Girelli and Fr Tomelleri of the Order of St. Camillo de Lellis in Verona need to confer with the Cardinal Vicar, His Eminence Patrizi, concerning most holy matters to do with their Congregation. At least I believe this Holy Cardinal has access to the Sacred Congregation for Bishops and Religious. I would therefore be most grateful if you, who are the Cardinal’s right hand, could introduce these good Fathers, one of whom is a student at my Institute, to the Cardinal Vicar who shows great benevolence to religious orders and could be of use in helping the Congregation of S. Camillo which has been doing so much good in the Venetian provinces for so many years. As well as asking you to introduce these two good priests to His Eminence, I beg you to give my greetings to Fr Biagio and the famous old heroine and to pray to Mary Most Holy for the one who declares himself in the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Your unworthy servant and friend

Fr Daniel Comboni, Apostolic Missionary

Fr Nicola Mazza sends you his cordial greetings.

82
Mother Emilie Julien
0
Verona
8. 3.1862
N. 82 (80) – TO MOTHER EMILIE JULIEN
APCV, 287/91

Verona, 8 March 1862

Most Reverend Mother!
[685]
I hope you have received my letter from Venice and my photographic portrait, and that you are comforted by seeing Count Thomas frequently in your house. I hope furthermore that you are almost completely recovered and that next autumn you will be able to undertake the journey to Jerusalem to return to Rome again as Mother General. I also hope to receive more letters from you. May God grant me this.
[686]
I ask of you, dear Mother, a favour which you will be able to do for me: this is it: two Priests from the Congregation of St. Camillo de Lellis, Fr Girelli and Fr Tomelleri (the latter is a student at my Institute), will need to be introduced to the Congregation for Bishops and Religious. You can introduce them to some Bishop who is a friend of yours so that he may help them in their affairs. They want to form a Province uniting the different houses in Venice which currently depend on Rome, in other words, to create a Province with various houses. Please introduce them to the Bishops with whom you are acquainted. You are experienced in such things, having founded so many houses, especially in Rome.
Excuse me, dear Mother; my greetings to Sr Sofia; give my respects to Mgr Serra, Bishop of Perth and pray for

your most unworthy servant

Fr Daniel Comboni

83
Card. Antonio Cagiani
0
Verona
8. 3.1862
N. 83 (81) – TO CARDINAL ANTONIO CAGIANI
APCV, 287/92

Verona, 8 March 1862

Most Eminent Prince!
[687]
The extraordinary kindness with which Your Most Reverend Eminence received me last January in Rome and did so much for the good of the Sisters of St Clare of the Blessed Sacrament of Verona gives me the courage to commend the two bearers of this letter to Your Most Reverend Eminence’s care. They are the Camillian Fathers Girelli and Tomelleri who have been sent to Rome on business for their Congregation. Their objective is to obtain consent from the Sacred Congregation for Bishops and Religious for the different religious Houses of the Lombard-Venetian region, each individually dependent on Rome, to be established as a Province and to be bound to one another under the orders of a Provincial Superior dependent on the General of the Reverend Fathers, Ministers of the Sick in Rome. For this purpose they will need guidance, recommendations and assistance.
[688]
The Fathers of the Order of St. Camillo de Lellis of Verona and of our provinces, as indeed of all the Religious bodies in the Venetian region, are an example to all and observe their rule with the utmost strictness. For love of the truth, I must say that while some religious souls in Rome radiate the most splendid light of perfection, generally speaking, rules are observed with greater perfection by religious persons of both sexes in our Venetian provinces than in Rome and the other provinces of Italy, almost all of which I have visited. Hence Your Most Reverend Eminence’s work of counsel and protection will be eminently rewarded by the satisfaction of knowing that Your Most Reverend Eminence is helping a multitude of just and holy souls who have filled our country with works of charity, and manage and serve in particular a great many hospitals in several cities in Lombardy and the Venetian region. I therefore commend these good Camillian Fathers to your paternal care, fully confident that with your advice and guidance they will succeed in their noble intentions.
[689]
The Mother Superior of the Sisters of St Clare of the Blessed Sacrament in Verona, whom I visited yesterday, sends you her very best regards. I beg your pardon for daring to interest Your Most Reverend Eminence, so illuminated in these matters, in favour of these friends of mine. As I humbly kiss the Sacred Purple, I declare myself in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Your Most Reverend Eminence’s most humble,
devoted and unworthy servant

Fr Daniel Comboni
Apostolic Missionary in Central Africa

84
Fr. Luigi Fratini
0
Verona
8. 3.1862
N. 84 (82) – TO FR LUIGI FRATINI
PVC, 287/93

Verona, 8 March 1862

My dear Fr Luigi!
[690]
You will be saying that I am lazy for never writing to you. Yes, you are right. But I shall soon make up for my negligence and so will you for yours. My purpose in this short letter is to ask you, when you can and as you did for me, to accompany the bearers of this letter, the Camillian Fathers, Fr Girelli and Fr Tomelleri, to see some of the beautiful wonders of Rome. I commend them to your kindness: remember me; convey my greetings and respects to all the members of the House of Carpegna, and consider me

Your sincere friend

Fr Daniel Comboni, Apostolic Missionary

My respects to Mgr Besi.
The magnificent Church vestment donated by Austria to Pius IX, valued at 36,000 scudos, was made by the young girls at my Institute; the young Africans worked on it too. If you go to see it you will be able to admire a magnificent piece of work, all in needlework.

85
Fr. Germano Tomelleri
1
Verona
14. 4.1862
N. 85 (83) – TO FR GERMANO TOMELLERI
APVC, 287/93 bis

14.4.1862


[A Short Note].
86
Card. Alessandro Barnabò
0
Verona
17.4.1862
N. 86 (84) – TO CARDINAL ALESSANDRO BARNABÒ
AP SC Collegio Africano, Verona

Verona, 17 April 1862

Most Eminent Prince!
[691]
Canon Polidoro, now Archpriest of the Cathedral of Verona but previously Her Imperial Majesty Empress Marianne of Austria’s confessor and known among us as Saint Liguori of Verona, is now in his seventy-fourth year and is oppressed by a serious and slow chronic illness which in a few months will lead him to the grave. Since he is piously devoted to the Holy See and the Supreme Pontiff and ardently desires a special blessing from the Supreme Pastor of the Church, he has asked me to visit him, so as to find a sure way to obtain this welcome satisfaction. I therefore venture to disturb your Most Illustrious and Most Reverend Eminence, so that on Thursday, when you hasten to the feet of His Holiness, you may deign to ask him for a blessing for Mgr. Polidoro, which would cheer him in the pains of his old age and his extreme illness. If in addition to all this, Your Eminence could request a blessing for the poor Mazza Institute, that would be more precious to it than all the praise it receives from the periodical press, which is often a vehicle for lies. As I await a single line of comfort for our holy old friend announcing the blessing sent to him by the Holy Father I kiss your Sacred Purple, and I declare
myself with all veneration and respect

Your Most Illustrious and Most Reverend Eminence’s
most humble and unworthy servant and son

Fr Daniel Comboni

87
Countess Ludmilla di Carpegna
0
Verona
1. 6.1862
N. 87 (84) – TO COUNTESS LUDMILLA DI CARPEGNA
AFC, Pesaro

Most noble Countess!

Verona, 1 June 1862
[692]
With my hand still trembling and convulsed because I have just stepped down from the pulpit, I hasten to write you this couple of lines to tell you of my surprise, my most heartfelt joy and sincerest gratitude at having just received your most precious letter of the 20th of last month, written to me from the pleasant living room of La Vigna. To tell the truth I never nourished the slightest hope that you would find the time and the will to write tome since you had already told me that apart from your pious sister and a few other close relations you were not accustomed to writing to anyone. That is why, seeing before me in your dear and precious letter the likes of a monument in sweet memory of you and all the dear Carpegna family, which is the object of so many sighs and sweet emotions in my heart, I assure you that this is such an event of true joy for me that I will never finish showing you my sincerest gratitude, nor will I ever be able to.
[693]
I hear that a painful event is about to take place in your beloved family, the separation for some time from my dear and innocent Pippo. This separation touches me to the quick, because as long as he remained in Rome I could hope to see him more often, whereas I do not have the opportunity of going to Belgium for the moment. However, I flatter myself that finally a trip to Belgium is for me no more than a stroll from La Vigna to La Sapienza for the Countess, which you will be doing tomorrow as you say in your letter. So if he stays there for a few years, this loving heart which can overcome any obstacle will be able to find an opportunity to fly to embrace him even in Belgium. In the meantime, I beg you to plant two affectionate kisses for me on that dear face, telling him at the same time that once I have his address I shall write to him to start an immediate correspondence between me and him, since I would like to be informed of everything that concerns him and to communicate the deep affection that burns in my heart for him. I care that you and your family should have fond memories of me. If I were to tell you that an hour passes without my affectionately recalling all the members of your family, I would be telling a lie. Always, sans cesse, I carry them all in my heart, I remember them all, and occasionally without realising it I speak of them to those around me. I find real comfort and sweet consolation during our separation in remembering you to God in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which I have never neglected to do every morning that I go up to the altar.
[694]
Yes, the God of peace and mercies will not be slow in imparting to your noble family the healing unction of joy and concord; he will disperse all the clouds that the enemy of human happiness spreads over the delights of a family which merits the special regard both of God and of society. In the meantime raise your spirit to tranquillity, to hope, to the dispositions of the God who looks at the four members of your dear family with particular delight and affection. Yes, no prayer leaves my heart with so much spontaneity, so much fervour and so much consolation as the one I utter during the happy moments each day when I raise my eyes to the Lord to find the centre of communication between me and the ever beloved Carpegna family which possesses all my heart. I hear that around the 12th of this month you will be leaving with the Count and Guido for La Carpegna. Oh, my heart rejoices, because you are getting nearer to Verona, and this fact enables me to hope that your closeness might perhaps give me an opportunity to make an autumn trip that way; for I feel a great consuming desire to see you all, to have long conversations, to enjoy your presence. Who knows whether God has this consolation in store for me! I am happy to have news of everybody, especially of the five dear members of your family. That blessed Guiduccio, what he tells me of some of you is only fleeting; but I shall write to him that I long to have news of each one of you in detail, and at length. I am sorry that you were ill after my departure from Rome (which was perhaps the most painful parting I have ever experienced in leaving dear friends, and which in some ways I foresaw).
[695]
I hope the waters at Rimini will restore you to perfect health. Try to rid yourself totally of that incipient little cough, which might just be a slight irritation of the mucous membrane or the symptom of some mild infection of the lungs. Be sure to take care and have special regard for your health, which is so precious to the family and to others. And what is my dear Count Luigi doing? Tell him that I always remember him, that I think of him and that I hold him in great esteem, since I have good reasons to, and love him with sincere affection. If I had not been enormously busy in May, I would have written to him; but I have an ardent desire to write to him shortly. In the meantime give him my greetings, as I am praying for him. Moreover my young African boys and girls are well, except for Luigi, who was Guido’s favourite and who, because he grew too fast, has caught a tuberculosis which will send him to the grave. This morning I gave your regards to my Superior who thanks you with all his heart, and sends you his. He, who is a saint, is praying for you and the Carpegna family.
[696]
Our 400 girls are doing well, although they are caught up in the most formidable distress of these hard times; and so are the 200 boys in my College, who will soon be giving the city an entertainment. The Superior, who is now over seventy and lives on just a few green vegetables taken once a day, without any funds, relying on Providence, leads and provides for this enormous quantity of individuals, ever happy and at peace and ever close to the Lord. For the time being, I am not being sent anywhere: which is why the hope of seeing you soon flashes before my eyes. It is my heart’s desire. Give my regards to Professor Mazzoni, of whom I cherish sweet memories and I am not surprised at the success of his operations for I admired his knowledge and frankness which make him a great surgeon. Furthermore I cannot find words to show my gratitude at being remembered by you. I will certainly write to you again; but I dare not ask you to write to me occasionally. Far from finding your letter too long, I must tell you that I am really glad to see your writing in front of me, for I consider it a precious treasure and the more I see it put down as God willed it, the dearer it is to me because it is all the more spontaneous and cordial. Ah, I beg you to be happy and calm. The consolation of having a husband who cares for you and two dear sons to whom you lovingly gave birth, who are so good and who love you much more than a mother, and you are still an incomparable mother to them, is indeed a consolation for you which ought to disperse all the clouds of affliction. And that is my heart’s desire.
[697]
This last May I preached 33 formal homilies on the Blessed Virgin Mary, and as I praised her greatness, at the offering each evening I asked my numerous audience to say three Hai lMarys for my intention; and that intention was the spiritual and temporal happiness of the Carpegna family. Ah, Mary will pour out the torrent of her blessings and the river of her peace into the hearts of the venerated Countess Ludmilla, of Count Luigi and of all this dear family. Always remember me. Receive the expressions of true esteem and affection which I send you with all my heart


Your most affectionate Fr Daniel Comboni
Apostolic Missionary




88
Countess Ludmilla di Carpegna
0
Verona
4.7.1862
N. 88 (86) – TO COUNTESS LUDMILLA DI CARPEGNA
AFC, Pesaro

Most Noble Countess!

Verona, 4 July 1862
[698]
How grateful I am for your precious letter of 1st July! How well you satisfy my desires by speaking tome of yourself and of all the Carpegna family, whom I love more than myself! Yes, O venerable Countess; each time you write to me and also when my dear Guido writes, I confess that it is an event that consoles me for everything and disperses all my troubles and anxieties. I thank you with all my heart and I cannot find words to express properly all the affection I have for you and for all the members of the Carpegna family. I assure you that all the causes of affliction presently oppressing your spirit and which you kindly tell me about, directly answer my most intimate feelings; and not only would I like to share all these afflictions (for all the adversities of the Carpegna family are also my own), but I would be happy to shoulder them all, to be alone in feeling them.
[699]
Imagine the affection with which each day I rejoice in praying for you and for all of you, especially during Holy Mass. To tell the truth, from the little I know of things in Rome I am convinced that you have done very well to put my dear Pippo in the College in Bruxelles, and that you have acted as a true Christian mother in accepting the sacrifice of separation from the dear boy for love of his future good. Well done, My Lady Countess. How pleased I am to see those generous traits in you which increase in me the esteem and affection I have for you. I therefore want to congratulate the Count, to whom I shall write tomorrow. I am convinced of this, so you must be of good cheer, for you have done a great thing and a very great thing in view of the obstacles you had to overcome. And in time you will be blessed by seeing the fruit of this magnanimous sacrifice.
[700]
I beg you to send me the address so that I may establish a correspondence with Pippo because I long to send him such norms and reminders as to enable him to grow in virtue, respect for his family and honour in society. By the way I tell you (and I beg you not to say anything, because it is useful for the time being, and you will see the effects in due course) that I am in correspondence with Count Luigi, and we have exchanged a few letters. I must tell you that I am very pleased so far. Let us therefore fervently pray to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. (I repeat that you must be silent on this. I should not be telling you. But I have so much esteem and respect for you that I am not afraid you will give away my secret.) I am very sorry about the dangerous illness of your sister who lives in Poland.
[701]
I celebrated Mass for her in the Sacred Heart this morning, and I shall ask my Superior and some pious souls to pray for the poor ailing soul. But whatever the outcome may be, my dear Countess, let us remain faithful to the Cross of Christ. Let us first ask that God bless her soul and then her body, and always be prepared to accept sacrifice from God’s hands. I am glad that you speak to me of your sister Annetta, of Pélagie, of your brother, and of all those who have close ties of family and friendship with you and with the beloved Carpegna family; for I love them all due to their connection with the august name of Carpegna. Please be kind enough to send my greetings to your brother, Pélagie and all four of their good children. Pélagie wrote to me once after my return from Rome and I wrote to her once during the last Easter festivities. Since then I have had no news from the good Polish ladies. I beg you to give them all my greetings. In a letter I have rebuked my two fellow Missionaries whom I had asked to visit your family as soon as they reached Rome and to write to me. Those rascals waited twenty days and then did not write a thing except that they had briefly seen the family, without naming anyone. I was also very grieved by this. But I must be grateful to you, dear Countess, for you have brought me great consolation by giving me news of yourself and the others. That little rascal Guido has not written to me for three months. He really is a bit hard with a friend who loves him; but after all the bustle over Pippo’s departure is over, I do intend to send him my complaints. But let us talk a bit intimately.
[702]
Although I have only known 10 per 100 of the troubles afflicting the beloved Carpegna family, nevertheless love, which is ever restless and which reaches to wherever a ray of the goodness of loved ones attracts it; my affection, I say, has revealed 90 per 100 of them to me. I take everything into account. I could repeat to you ad litteram everything that flashed to my eyes and to my mind about you, about the Count, about Guido, about Pippo and about Fr Luigi. I see considerable gloom in the family. God gives gall to drink even to those who could be completely happy.
[703]
Let us adore God’s dispositions: but for our part we must shun everything which can disturb our peace. Ah yes, the venerable Countess Ludmilla was the one who drank the bitterest cup! I imagine it; I can also imagine the heroism of your virtue, the sacrifices you have had to put up with. But take heart, my dear Countess. You did not suffer that anguish, those worries, those sorrows in vain. Those anxieties are now being considered by the one who must consider them. It is impossible that all the sacrifices and sorrows you have been through should not be crowned by a period of peace, by a flood of consolations that await you. Be brave therefore, at this point; be calm; always be happy. Those two dear sons of yours, whom you love with the love of a mother beyond compare, must indeed be a comfort to you, and with good reason, in every grim event.
[704]
The Count, I must say with certainty, knows your virtue and knows that you have suffered. But enough, because I would not like to go too far. Be calm, happy, and also think sometimes of Verona, where in some places there is talk of you, Guido and all of you, as in Rome. Some friends of mine frequently ask me about the Carpegnas. Remember me, dear Countess, for I always remember you, and I bear your venerable name and image engraved on my heart. Pray for me, and may God be the centre of communication between me and you, and your dear family. I beg you to write tome during your stay in Pesaro, and let me know how much longer you will be at La Carpegna with the Count and Guido, so that I can make my plans. Oh, if you only knew how great my desire is to see you all! And if you stay there in the autumn, it is very probable that I shall come and visit you for a few days. Write to me Countess, for your letters are like a true refreshing balm for my spirit. And please remind Guido, to whom I shall write after I have written to the Count, not to be so stingy with letters, for his letters are too dear to me. If you write to Pippo and the excellent Fr Luigi, give them my greetings. I imagine Fr Luigi will be going to the London Exhibition; on his return, you might whisper in his ear and suggest to him, as to yourself, that he could pass through Verona, because I would gladly see him and a long conversation with him could be very useful as regards that which roule dans mon esprit.
[705]
In the meantime, I send you my respects, O Countess. Take the baths regularly and make sure they are effective in preserving and restoring your precious health. Enjoy yourself, be happy and in good spirits, give my greetings to Pippo and write telling me about yourself and your concerns, which are like my own, about Guido and the Count whom I love and whom I contemplate every day in my great album, which I never open except three or four times a day, to see spread out the picture of the venerable Carpegna family. Accept the expression of my esteem and respectful love, with which I sign
with all my heart

Your most affectionate servant

Fr Daniel Comboni, Apostolic Missionary

My Superior has just now asked me to send you his regards.

89
Countess Ludmilla di Carpegna
0
Verona
1. 8.1862
N. 89 (87) – TO COUNTESS LUDMILLA DI CARPEGNA
AFC, Pesaro

Most Noble Countess!

Verona, 1 August 1862
[706]
While you are still in Pesaro, I want to write to you once again, knowing how good and kind you are about willingly reading my script. I have received your last most precious letter on the 19th of last month which in one way flooded my soul with immense pleasure, and in another, afflicted me. I must say that I have received a most beautiful letter from Bruxelles, in which my dear Pippo gives me a long account of his present situation. What a fine heart that son has! He tells me that he is earnestly committed to wanting to do well, and succeeding in bringing consolation to his parents. He is so fond of his family that everything else bores him; so that he lives nearly all the time in seclusion, concentrating on his studies to repay his beloved parents’ endless care with joyful success. He begs me to console Papa and Mama with a few letters. And as Papa was contrary, he wants to give him as much consolation and more, through his good progress, as he had sorrow in giving his consent. God bless this good son, and may he bless the excellent Fr Luigi who truly cares for him as a father! I had great pleasure in receiving a letter from Fr Luigi for the first time. From what I can see he will be staying in Bruxelles all this year. Pippo appears to me so well intentioned in his studies, so keen to do well, that this son, whose momentary separation from you has caused so many tears, will bring such consolation to the hearts of his good parents that he will be an honour to this noble family. On the other hand this boy seems so good to me that he will be quite unstained by all that might be bad in a military college, especially since the one in Bruxelles has a good reputation.
[707]
Let your heart be consoled therefore, my good Countess, for your sacrifice will generate the happiness and goodness of that soul. I must also confess the Count’s good part in this. He did not want to give his consent at any cost, and he gave it. He complains, shouts and goes around mumbling in protest, and he leaves him in Bruxelles. In some way, he is adapting to the will of others. Not understanding you well, other men would have held their ground and refused their approval. But the Count yielded; and in this he has shown that he is a man who is capable of sacrifices. Poor soul! I feel all the effort he must have made, and I hope he will have calmed down by now. It seems tome that if for no other reason, the irreproachable conduct of your son, his unfailing love and application to his studies and his desire to respond to his parents’ sacrifices should be enough to console a father. I trust the baths will have done you good and that the autumn will finish restoring your health. The presence of my dear Guido will be a consolation to you; with his vivid imagination he will be casting his eyes from the shores of the Adriatic over that tempestuous Albanian sea where we were caught in a fierce squall last year which obliged us to put in for refuge at Corfu. I long to be able to come to spend a few days at La Carpegna: but I am not yet sure.
[708]
Your kind encouragements make me fly there: I am impatient to see all three of you: in any case I shall do everything possible to ensure that the Superior gives me permission. By hook or by crook I want to come to La Carpegna; and if all else fails, I am thinking of stealing the fortnight allowed as home-leave, and flying to the hills of Urbino and Macerata. My home, in Lombardy, on Lake Garda, has already had me last autumn, where I celebrated the Holy Missions. I have already had my father, the only thing which draws me home, to stay for 20 days in the College last July. So I hope to be able to arrange a quick run to S. Arcangelo, and along the S. Marina road, to climb the steep ascent to your hills. I am very well and very busy: apart from correspondence for the Missions, preaching and daily Arabic lessons, I have various philanthropic duties. Last week, by writing a letter to the Emperor of Austria, I was granted by God’s grace to free two condemned prisoners who were innocent. Pray for me Countess: you have a permanent place in my prayers, in my heart. In the midst of my occupations the greatest comfort I have had was to receive your letters, the Count’s, Guido’s, Pippo’s and Fr Luigi’s. I receive letters from the four corners of the world nearly every day. I know there are many people who love me, especially in Verona. But my heart is permanently focused on the good Carpegna family, and I don’t know why. Please remember

Your most affectionate Fr Daniel C.

Receive the regards of my Superior who prays for You.

90
President of the Society of Cologne
0
Verona
1. 8.1862
N. 90 (88) – TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY OF COLOGNE FOR THE SALVATION OF YOUNG AFRICANS
“Jahresbericht des Vereines zur Unterstützung der armen Negerinnen” 12 (1062), pp. 46–48

Verona, 1 August 1862

Reverend Sir,
[709]
Divine Providence, who never abandons those who trust in her, saw to it that I should come to know of the existence in Cologne on the Rhine of a religious Society which sets out to promote and support the missionary task of redeeming, educating and instructing poor young Africans. Fr Lodovico da Casoria in Naples, as well as the President of the Society of Mary in Vienna, Dr Fr von Hurter, were the ones who brought this to my attention. After I had returned from Central Africa I was appointed to direct the department of the Mazza Institute in which African youths are brought up and educated.
[710]
Fifty years ago, Reverend Father Nicola Mazza (see fuller explanations in our annual report) founded an educational Institute for poor boys with outstanding talents and of proven morality, to form them as able priests for service in the Church or as capable men in human society. To this Institute was then added a second creation of Fr Mazza’s, a house which was to be a refuge for young girls who, unprotected in human society, risked losing their innocence, so as to form them in every respect as able women in secular life. About 600 pupils are presently housed separately in these two Institutes. Neither of the two Institutes has any capital and Fr Mazza every day feels left to the mercy of divine Providence. In 1849, a third Institute was added to these, dedicated to mission work in Central Africa. He undertook the maintenance, upbringing and education of a certain number of young Africans rescued from slavery, with a view to using them in due course (in accordance with Fr Lodovico da Casoria’s plan) for the conversion of their own countrymen in Africa.
[711]
At the moment, we only have 12 young Africans whom I rescued myself last year on the coast of Zanzibar (the East African coast) and in Aden. In addition we have 13 young African girls who were brought from Egypt. This African Institute has now been placed under my direction and administration. I hardly know how we survive from one day to the next, especially since in these unfortunate war years the sources of funds are running scarce everywhere. This is why I make bold with the utmost insistence to entreat the Presidency of the Society of Cologne to grant me new aid. I know of the great abundance with which each year it assists Fr Lodovico and Fr Olivieri, who are both friends of mine and with whom I have stayed in Naples, Rome and Egypt, and I now have to turn to their pious Society, because I am at present in deplorable straits.
[712]
In all events, before deeming me worthy of assistance, please be so kind as to seek information on my account from the President of the Society of Mary in Vienna, Dr von Hurter, from His Eminence Cardinal Barnabò, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda, or from Fr Lodovico, to whom I have already brought several young Africans, or from Fr Nicola Olivieri and the Pro-Vicar Fr Matteo Kirchner, with whom I have travelled to the heart of Africa as apostolic missionary.
May God hear my prayers, etc.

Fr Daniel Comboni,

Apostolic Missionary
Director of the Mazza College for Africans

Translated from the German.