Decree of Venerability of the Servant of God Carlo Crespi, SDB

(ANS – Vatican City) – The Dicastery for the Causes of Saints has transmitted to the Postulator General of the Causes of the Saints of the Salesian Family, Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, the Decree by which, on March 23, 2023, the Supreme Pontiff Francis declares and affirms “The theological virtues of the Faith, Hope, and Charity toward God as well as toward one’s neighbor, the cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance and the other related virtues, practiced to a heroic degree by the Servant of God Carlo Crespi Croci, Professed Priest of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco, in the case and for the purpose at hand.” The Decree is signed by the Prefect of the Dicastery, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, and the Secretary, Msgr. Fabio Fabene.

It begins by quoting the biblical phrase from St. Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians: “We have been loving in your midst, like a mother who cares for her children. Thus, being fond of you, we would have wished to pass on to you not only the gospel of God, but our own life, because you have become dear to us” (1 Thess 2:7-8), indicating that the missionary life of the Servant of God Carlo Crespi Croci was profoundly characterized by both the Salesian loving-kindness and by the tireless industriousness typical of St. John Bosco’s preventive system, of which he was a faithful and passionate follower in the land of Ecuador, both among the Shuar people and in the city of Cuenca, where he spent much of his long life.

After succinctly tracing the stages of the great missionary’s life, the Decree summarizes the steps that accompanied the Cause of Beatification: on the strength of the reputation for holiness, the Diocesan Inquest was celebrated at the Archdiocesan Curia of Cuenca (Ecuador) from March 2 to December 7, 2007, the validity of which was recognized by a decree of January 15, 2010. Having prepared the Positio, it was submitted to the Theological Consultors for their consideration on October 11, 2022. The Ordinary Session of the Fathers Cardinals and Bishops was held on March 7, 2023.

It is worth recalling that just one hundred years ago, on April 24, 1923, the young Carlo Crespi landed in Ecuador, the land of his tireless and passionate missionary frontier. In a later writing, he would recall with great emotion his first departure for the Missions: “I remember my departure from Genoa on March 22 of the year 1923 […]. When, having removed the bridges that still held us fast to our native land, the ship began to move, my soul was pervaded by a joy so overwhelming, so superhuman, so ineffable, that such I had never felt in any moment of my life, not even on the day of my first Communion, not even on the day of my first Mass. In that instant, I began to understand what the missionary was and what God reserved for him […]. Pray fervently, that God may preserve our holy vocation and make us worthy of our holy mission; that none of the souls may perish, which in His eternal decrees, God has willed to be saved through us, that He may make us valiant champions of the faith, even unto death, even unto martyrdom.”