On Saturday, November 28, 2020, a limited number of friars from the General Curia and some relatives of our confrere Mauro Cardinal GAMBETTI, were able to participate in the Consistory, held in the apse of St. Peter’s Basilica, at the altar of the Chair of St. Peter.

The friars of the Vatican Penitentiary awaited Friar Mauro at the entrance of the basilica. Although Friar Mauro was dressed in scarlet, it did not keep him from laughing and joking with the friars, like a happy family, at such a beautiful joyous event. Due to the pandemic, few people were admitted to the Consistory and it was celebrated in a very essential form. In just forty-five minutes, Pope Francis created thirteen new cardinals.
Friar Agnello STOIA, the Pastor of Rome’s Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles, was lucky enough to attend because as a cardinal, Friar Mauro had been given the title of the Diaconal Church of the Most Holy Name of Mary at the Trajan Forum, a church which falls within Friar Agnello’s parish territory. Because the Rector of the Church of the Most Holy Name of Mary was feeling ill, he asked Friar Agnello to go in his place.
All of the friars of the Curia were eager to pay homage to the new Cardinal and to rejoice with him and each other. This event was a recognition made to our Order, as well. Thus, the friars organized a community celebration of Evening Prayer I for the First Sunday of Advent at the Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles. At 7:00 p.m., the Conventual community gathered around the main altar. They sang the Te Deum hymn as bells rang out, while the Master of Ceremonies, Friar Maurizio DI PAOLO, led a procession from the sacristy flanked by the Pastor and the Guardian, Friar Francesco CELESTINO.
Before starting Evening Prayer, the Minister General, Friar Carlos Alberto TROVARELLI, expressed his best wishes for Friar Mauro, saying that even if the Church has given him the title of “His Eminence,” among us, he will always retain the title of “Brother,” and that our Fraternity will always welcome him as such. Moreover, whenever he wishes, he can stay with us, because this is his home.
After the brief reading and the recitation of a passage from the Franciscan Sources, Friar Mauro addressed the Minister General, giving thanks and expressing affection for the entire community. Next he gave a brief reflection on the text of the First Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians: “May you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. 1 Thes 5:23).
The joyful event ended with a solemn blessing and the friars gathered again in the refectory to continue the celebrations with a fraternal agape meal.

Friar Agnello STOIA