LETHALLY ILL DIACON RECEIVED PRIESTLY ORDINATION
THE CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY
In relation to the worrying fact of quick death, a lethally ill man received earlier priestly ordination. 38-year-old Salvatore Mellone was ordained into a Catholic priest by a local bishop on 16 April in Barletca in the south of Italy. Two days earlier pope Francis had called with a request if the new priest would give him blessing. The papal request was fulfilled.
‘Being a priest for at least one day meant fulfilling God’s project for him’ – the archbishop Trani Giovanni Battista Pichierri wrote in his message. He emphasized that Salvatore Mellone had continued his studies in a seminary, not worrying about his developing illness. Because of the severe neoplastic illness, the bishop shortened him the period of studies from six to four years, so that he could receive priestly ordination earlier. Fr. Mellone started seminary studies in 2011 and a year later he fell ill with cancer.