On the evening of Saturday 19 November, in Leuca in the Basilica Sanctuary of Santa Maria de Finibus Terrae, mgr. Vito Angiuli, bishop of the diocese of Ugento-Santa Maria di Leuca, will preside over the opening session of the diocesan inquiry into the life, virtues and reputation for holiness of the Servant of God, card. Gilberto Agustoni, prefect emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
As reported by Msgr. Sabino Amedeo Lattanzio, Postulator of the Cause: “This event of grace will surely benefit the whole Church which the Servant of God has served with tireless commitment and love in the various Vatican Dicasteries since 1950; of the Sisters of the ‘Daughters of Santa Maria di Leuca’ Institute who had him alongside the Mother Foundress Elisa Martinez as a guide and support, so much so that he was recognized as the ‘Guarantor’ of the charism of their Religious Family; of the local Church of Lugano which generated him to the faith and of the diocesan community of Ugento-Santa Maria di Leuca, cradle of the aforementioned Institute of the Daughters of Santa Maria di Leuca”.
Cardinal Agustoni was born in 1922 in Schaffhausen, in eastern Switzerland. He moved to Ticino with his family and at the age of 12 he entered the Seminary of Lugano. Ordained a priest in 1946, he dedicated himself in the diocese to the formation of young people from various Catholic associations. In 1950 he was requested in Rome to serve the Holy See. He carried out his work in various and multiple positions of trust in various Roman Dicasteries, gaining the trust of the various Popes, starting with Pius XII. Saint John Paul II consecrated him bishop in 1987, created him cardinal in 1994 and in the same year appointed him prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. In his long years of stay in Rome – from 1950 until his death on 13 January 2017 – Cardinal Agustoni lived at the Sisters Daughters of Santa Maria di Leuca, welcomed by the founder, the venerable Elisa Martinez, becoming “unique” with this religious family that he considered his “Parish Family”. Here, in fact, he exercised his ministry as pastor and father, and for this reason, together with the Mother Foundress, the sisters consider him the “guarantor” of their charism.