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A Street dedicated to Brother Giorgio Bigotto

19/09/2008: Italy - Photo gallery

On August 23, in a simple but touching ceremony, the local council of San Giorgio di Nogaro dedicated to Brother Giorgio Bigotto, Marist Brother, the street that leads from the town to the Health Centre. Present at the ceremony were the Lord Mayor, Pietro Del Frate, the whole of the town Council, the towns parish priest, Fr. Livio Carlino, members of Brothers family and a group of close friends.

Brother Giorgio was a missionary for 40 years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He arrived there in 1965 and worked in Nyangezi, Kisangani, Kindu, Goma and Bobandana, where he died of a heart attack on May 21 2004.

The Lord Mayor offered the following words: A man of the region who never forgot his roots and who transformed his life into a total gift to others, to those who suffer, the weakest and the least favoured. The Lord Mayor also recalled Brother’s university career. But Giorgio preferred his mission as a teacher - history, geography, philosophy, Latin and, above all, religion - to the glories of university teaching. For many long years and in diverse places, he directed schools. Every time he returned to their land, he demonstrated the enthusiasm that he felt for the young people of the Congo. Before offering to share his knowledge, he became inculturated; he let himself be educated before educating others. This attitude gave him such a great love for the Congolese people that he physically suffered all the injustices and the long civil war that martyred the Congolese people for such a long period of time. He even put his life at risk to save others. He always dreamt of times of peace for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He looked after many young people and directed them to the religious life, not just Marist, but also the priesthood, or the convent, if they were girls. Many young Congolese Brothers had him as their accompanier.

The Parish priest remembered the lively conversations he had with Giorgio after Mass: His enthusiasm for the mission was clear!” Then he introduced a moment of prayer, followed by the blessing of the street.

Giorgio had never imagined that the town where he was born would give his name to a street. But his friends loved him and they continue loving him a great deal. After his sudden death, messages of condolence arrived from all the corners of the Marist world. His former students remember him even today, some of them with tears. They had inscribed on his tomb: Brother Giorgio, friend of the young people, pray for us!”

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