With sadness I read the news of the passing of the papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, after complications following lung surgery. Although I have never written about or ben involved with the archbishop, either personally or through the medium of this blog, from other writers I get the unmistakable impression that he was a colourful character, a perfect fit for such a large and dynamic nation as the United States, and he will be sorely missed.
Whispers has a full report with all the details, including the great quote below, given by Archbishop Sambi in 2007 at an education convention:
[A] young man, 22 years old, once took a piece of marble and sculpted in it two of the most deep human sentiments: suffering accepted from the hand of God does not diminish the beauty of the human person but increases it, and — second sentiment — even in death, a son continues to have full confidence in his mother.
This is the Pietá of Michelangelo, that you can see everytime you enter in the Basilica of St Peter in Rome.
Michelangelo, the author of the Pietá, is considered one of the greatest artists in the world. I don’t believe it! The greatest artists are the educators — are you– because you try to sculpt the best of yourselves, of who you are and what you know, not in a piece of marble, but in living, breathing human beings, who are the glory of God.
Also be sure to read the touching words written by Bishop Robert Lynch of Saint Petersburg, Florida.
Even a cursory glance at the rota of bishop appointments overt he ast few years will reveal the good that Archbishop Sambi has done. Even in the final weeks, his work led to the appointment of Archbishop Charles Chaput to Philadelphia: a sign of promise and hope for the future, and an indication of the nuncio’s good nose for prelatial transfers.