Ignazio Beghi (Photo: Fraternity St. Charles)

“When the heart rests on God's promises, life flourishes”

The story of Ignazio Beghi, who will be ordained a priest of the Fraternity of St. Charles on Saturday, June 22, along with four other brothers in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.
Ignazio Beghi

When I told the director of the laboratory in Zurich where I was working that I was quitting my doctorate because I wanted to become a priest, without flinching she asked me only one question, “How come you worked so passionately this year if you were not interested in pursuing a scientific career?” This question of hers immediately made me think of the last year. I had never enjoyed the pleasure of research as much as I had in those months, but it was also true of my desire to be with my friends, to dedicate myself to building our community, to tell everyone about the beauty of the Christian life. She was right. Without knowing it, she had got the point.

The first time the thought of vocation crossed my mind was when I was still a child. During my middle school years, thanks to my friendship with Fr. Agostino, a priest in my town, I was beginning to discover the faith that my family had passed on to me more deeply. One day –I must have been 12 years old – as I was saying my prayers, this thought crossed my mind for the first time: “How beautiful it would be to give my whole life to Jesus!” I do not remember what occupied my mind then. I did not tell anyone about this new dialogue that had begun with the good Lord because it was something very precious that I did not want to ruin it. That intuition, discreet and tenacious like a small seed, fell on fertile ground, as only God can do, loaded with great promises.

The first promise had come from my parents, who had promised me that life is good in a very simple and everyday way: they were always surrounded by friends. In fact, I grew up in a family from the movement of Communion and Liberation, and it was a great gift to be part of this people from an early age. In my high school years, when I met friends from GS, I discovered that their same friendship was given to me as well. I began to understand that all the good things we experienced together stemmed from faith. Although I did not quite understand the connections, it was clear that none of this would be possible without Christ. Thus, the face of Jesus to whom I had wanted to give my life as a child began to become increasingly clear and fascinating.

From the left: Ignatius Beghi, Matteo Pagani and Giovanni Barrani (Photo: Fraternity St. Charles)

That intuition appeared on the horizon again with greater force,
but I did not want to follow it as I was afraid of losing something. In an attempt to banish that persistent thought, I took advantage of the beginning of college to throw myself into studying something I was passionate about, hoping that time would end up erasing that idea. I worked hard to get good grades in the hope of continuing my studies abroad. But there was something about this plan, which was stubbornly running smoothly, which did not leave me calm. I knew what it was. A few months before I graduated, Fr. Antonio, known to everyone as Anas, was appointed chaplain of my faculty. I finally decided to talk to him about what had been stirring in my heart for some time. I perhaps expected great decisive words, but instead, with great peace, he simply suggested that I look at the points where I was happy. With this indication, I left to finish my university studies, first in Lausanne and then in Zurich. I simply set out to make room for the deepest desires I had. I saw that while my projects appeared smaller and smaller, life was filled with a new gusto and gladness. So much so that even my boss had noticed something new in my work. When the heart rests on God's promises, life flourishes, in all aspects.

Little by little, I was seeing more clearly that long succession of fulfilled promises that dotted my story. I had no reason to fear losing anything by following that invitation addressed to me as a child: today I know it was the greatest promise made to my life.

Translated from the website of the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo

On Saturday, June 22, Deacons Giovanni Barrani, Ignazio Beghi, João Brito, Matteo Pagani and Martino Zavarise will be ordained priests by the laying on of hands of Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston. In the same celebration, Tommaso Benzoni, Simone Moretti and Andrea La Piana will be ordained deacons. The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome