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The House of the Divine Will in Corato: 89 years from its foundation

A concrete sign of the spiritual friendship between Father Annibale and Luisa Piccarreta.

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Yesterday, Sunday 8th October, the nineteenth year of the foundation of the “ Anthony Institute”  was launched. We should call it more correctly "House of the Divine Will." Through the history of the Institute that has been consecrated to the Divine Will from the beginning, a bit of Corato's story went off.

On October 7, 1928, a House was inaugurated in Corato. It was wanted by Father Annibale of France to welcome the servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. Luisa, together with her sister Angelina, the Sisters of Divine Zeal and some orphans, lived here for 10 years.

After the recitation of the morning prayers, don Sergio Pellegrini said "Recalling the bonds of spiritual friendship between Father Annibale and the servant of God Luisa we trace the story of a House that is the sign left by the profound bond between two "holy" souls. Saint Annibale’s  project, after his death, was not left incomplete but it was realized thanks to the commitment of Father Pantaleone Palma. The memory of a spiritual bond has become reality, it cannot and must not die because it is something written in Heaven."

Don Angelo Sardone said, "A month later, the newspaper "Dio e il prossimo” (God and the Neighbor) announced to 300,000 readers scattered throughout Italy and the world, the news of the opening of the House of the Divine Will. He, as a historian and a rogazionist, traced the story of the Institute: It is a project intended to show the gratitude to the Lord for the charismatic gift of Luisa, the little daughter of the Divine Will, of whom Father Annibale was her extraordinary confessor and censor of her writings. "

In those years there were already two female institutes, one in Trani and the other in Altamura. Father Annibale invited Luisa to move to them, but she did not want to leave Corato. So slowly in 1919, Father Annibale began moving the first steps to building a female house in which orphans and poor young people could find shelter and where Luisa could be accommodated with her sister. The difficulties did not fail but after the discovery of the land, probably donated by the Misses Cimadomo, the construction of the house began. It was inaugurated on 7 October 1928 in the presence of a good number of faithful.

The birth of the House testifies to us the spirituality of the Divine Will. From now on the memory is alive in the convent where a room, that one that is adjacent to the chapel, was intended for a permanent exhibition of photos collected mostly by the nuns. Some of them were made available by the collector Rino Scarnera from Corato. You can see memorabilia, a handwritten letter donated by the Tedone family, and items donated by Father Bernardino Bucci

"A piece of the story of Luisa dwells in the House wanted by Father Annibale," said Don Sergio. "Pilgrims who come to Corato must be led there to know this great reality as well."

The Zonal Vicar, don Peppino Lobascio, said he has felt a sense of ferment and joy. He presided over the Eucharistic Celebration that was held in the courtyard of the Institute. Don Peppino enlightened, especially during the homily, the precious presence on our territory of many "holy" people who have committed themselves in the Lord's Vineyard and of whom we should gather their beauty.

The last act of that beautiful morning was the dedication of the Garden of the Convent. In that garden Luisa was invested and kissed by "Sister Light",  as she wrote in her Diary on April 7, 1929 (volume 26).  From now non, it will be called "Garden of the Sun". Then there was the blessing of a positioning of Luisa’s bronze bust.  It is placed on a boulder from Murgia in the garden of the Convent and was donated by Father Bernardino.

A page of history has been written, a starting point has been set for a new path that begins with the House of the Divine Will and will see a series of initiatives towards the 90th anniversary of its foundation. This journey is mainly aimed at a greater understanding of the life and spirituality of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta.


 by Francesca Maria Testini
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