Friday 17 May 2013

Pasquale, old and alone, only asked for a postcard, but he gets the visit of two friends of Sant'Egidio

A couple of days ago, on the italian magazine "La Stampa",  the journalist Massimo Gramellini published an appeal by Pasquale Bono, old and alone, who "does not ask for money nor caresses, who can even do well. Except that someone out there remembers his existence" by sending his best wishes for his name-day, on March 17. (READ MORE)
But there was no need to wait so long. It is enough to read the newspaper, a few phone calls to friends in other cities and Valeria and Bianca, of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Naples, took the car and went to Santa Maria a Vico, a small town in the province of Caserta to meet Pasquale.
Here's what they wrote:

"It 'was an moving meeting. His "house" is located at a stone's throw from the main street of the village, on the mezzanine floor of a quite modern buildin . After ringing the bell he soon opened the door and invited us in.
He was in his pyjamas and when we told him that we had read his letter in the newspaper he was moved and invited us to come in with a wave of his hand and then, pointing to his mouth, made us understand that he cannot speak: he had a serious stroke 15 years ago which caused him a paralysis of the right side, so he has a withered arm, drags his leg and in fact, he is almost unable to speak. He did not know that his letter had been published, he sent it last week to some newspaper as  the  Stampa to the Mattino and to Avvenire (which is his favourite newspaper). In the entrance besides the TV and hi  armchair, there were many old copies of Famiglia Cristiana.  He likes reading .. Therefore he knows the Community of Sant'Egidio from newspapers and TV and he wanted to know many things about what we do in Naples, where we are and so on. His "dinner" was on the kitchen table: two very small baked apples on a crumpled paper towel. He writes with his left hand with a very old computer and also with a vintage Olivetti ...
He was born in Procida, lived in Naples for some time, and has lived in S. Maria a Vico lived for twenty years. He is divorced, has several photographs to the walls, I think of his wife and daughter, but did not want to talk about that…. He's only 64 years old and only receives  a pension due to his handicap (250,00 EUR), not because they have recognized an additional amount because he can "eat and walk." We went to the newsstand on the corner to get him a copy of the newspapers that we had spoken about and when we came back he had put on another shirt and sprayed perfume in the house ... He ever sees no one and goes out very little. When we said goodbye we proposed to exchange phone numbers and he sadly made us realize that it would be useless since he would not be able to talk on the phone, then thought for a moment and he smiled and mouthed the words ‘to text’. ... of course, he could text sms!
On the 17th we will be back to celebrate his name-day, and then on June 6th is his birthday, we must celebrate a good party.
It 's very nice that a man who is alone, ill, and who cannot speak, can manage to get his voice to someone! Thank you for letting us know about his letter. "

Valeria and Bianca

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