What you need to know:
- Beatification is the process of proclaiming that a deceased person is one of “the blessed,” or has gained the second degree of holiness, before becoming a saint, according to the Catholic Church
Gulu Archdiocese is finalising preparations for the beatification of Fr. Dr Giuseppe Ambrosoli, a Roman Catholic Priest with Comboni Missionaries who died 35 years ago.
Beatification is the process of proclaiming that a deceased person is one of “the blessed,” or has gained the second degree of holiness, before becoming a saint, according to the Catholic Church.
In a press briefing at the weekend, Archbishop John Baptist Odama said the Pope had already issued a concession that the rite of beatification of Fr Ambrosoli takes place on November 20, in Gulu.
Initially, the declaration had been scheduled for November 22, 2020, but was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fr Ambrosoli came to Uganda in February 1956. While at Gulu, he moved to Kalongo and founded Kalongo (Dr Ambrosoli Memorial), a hospital that gained reputation for excellence for almost 31 years, until 1987.
“By this letter, I, therefore, call upon all of you to prepare for these great spiritual and material gifts to the church and our nation in particular. Gifts of venerable and blessed persons are rare and for our nation Uganda, this is a blessing,” Bishop Odama said.
Bishop Odama revealed that a nominated cardinal will represent the Pope.
He explained that the beatification of Dr Ambrosoli is a great moment for the Catholic Church and Gulu Archdiocese, which gets the third blessed, after Jildo Irwa and Daudi Okello, who are blessed martyrs.
While explaining reasons for the beatification of Dr Ambrosoli, Bishop Odama said: “ He is best known as a doctor, surgeon, philanthropist, and educator in the missions in Uganda. He was famed as the “saint doctor” or “great doctor” for being compassionate and loving care for the sick”.
He added: “It was not only his professional ability that attracted the crowd of patients to Fr Giuseppi but his kindness, goodness, infinite patience, availability spiritual transparency also distinguished him as a holy man of God.”
Whereas in 1972, Dr Ambrosoli also founded Alito and Morulem Medical Centres for victims of leprosy, Kalongo Hospital, now known as Dr Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital, has more than 350 beds and serves nearly 60,000 people every year.
Msgr Mathew Odong, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Gulu and chairperson for the beatification, described Fr. Dr Ambrosoli as a man who not only used his medical expertise to treat but also imparted his skills to other health workers.
Msgr Odong added: “We formed a central organising committee that will be coordinating the preparation until the end. We also formed the same committee in Kitgum and want to do the same in Kalongo.”
It is believed that Dr Ambrosoli extraordinary and unexplainably cured a Kalongo woman in 2008, eighteen years after his death in 1987.
The event reportedly happened on October 25, 2008, when Lucia Lomokol, a 20-year-old woman lost her unborn baby and suffered sepsis or blood poisoning by bacteria. Since her condition had puzzled medical doctors at the hospital, Dr Eric Dominic placed on her pillow a card of Dr Ambrosoli and asked her relatives to pray to the “saint doctor”. The next morning, she had recovered.
Reporting by Teddy Dokotho, Taibot Marko & Tobbias Jolly Owiny