Medjugorje is a wonderful medicine that God gave to the world
Date: March 13, 2010 , Originally published March, 1991
The smile of his mother as she was dying (she was run over by a train) helped this man (a sculptor) regain his faith and now inspires his works.
An atheist in front of this crucifix said, "For as long as I stood in front of it, I felt the desire to embrace it."
Peppino Sacchi, sculptor from Bolzano, was interviewed by Fr. Slavko in October 1990.
Peppino: I was born in a poor farming family, and I'm proud to say it. I had a brother, younger than I - he was a hard worker, and that's why my father preferred him. My father thought I was lazy, but I was in love with pencils and colours - I loved drawing. My mother knew me better, however, and my uncle who understood me took me to Novara to an art school. My father was happy to have me out of the way.
Fr. Slavko: You said your mother understood you better. Can you tell us something about her?
Peppino: It was her death that became very important for me. I had sculptored a wooden angel for Venice ... one morning my mother came to visit me and was admiring my work. I observed her face: there was a smile impressed on her face that I can never forget... One hour later I was told that she had been run over by a train. From that moment on, the look on her face and her smile were always before me. They very often inspire me. The death of my mother helped me regain my faith... It was then that the world that I had created around me, that I considered so secure, collapsed. It was a world without God, without faith, where eternity didn't exist... And so I then started living my faith. From then on it became very important for me to cultivate this faith, through prayer and work... That smile, that remained impressed in my soul and heart on that day that my mother died, is a great help to me especially in my work and when I have to create motherly faces... Now I look at everything with eyes of faith, and I see God in everything that has been created.
Q. Now that you are here in front of the cross, the people would like to hear you say something about it and the crucifix. What can you tell us?
A. I have read a lot about Christ. I have studied the Holy Shroud of Turin. Christ must have been very beautiful: He was vigorous, perfect, a man of large stature. So that's why I wanted to make a beautiful crucifix. People like a dead Christ with a joyful face; and I believe that He was just like that, because He was both Man and God. He suffered and died as a man, but at the same time He remained God - and that's how I tried to represent Him in His death. I tried to represent the atrocious pain that He underwent through the size of the nails that pierce His hands and feet. The wound of His heart is also very deep. Nonetheless, He was serene, because He was carrying out God's will.
Q. Tell us something about this Passion.
A. Yes, it is a small testimony. One day a friend entered my study - he was Communist, a non-believer... I was just finishing the crucifix. My friend stood in front of it for a long time, looking at it. He didn't say anything and I didn't ask him anything. Then he left, without even saying goodbye to me. Then when I went home for lunch, my wife told me that that friend had returned and had said, As long as I stood in front of that crucifix, I felt like embracing it... but I didn't have the courage, so I left. I was so happy. That was the first prize for my work...
Q. In this world, as you see it now, what significance do you think that Medjugorje has?
A. I find that the message of peace is very moving. Afterall, it is an invitation to us all to recreate harmony in ourselves and in the world... For me, conversion means discovering in oneself this way to peace and harmony and accepting God's help that arrives to us through the Mother. Medjugorje is a great medicine given to the world from God; even though there are things now at Medjugorje that delude me. I mean all those constructions that have caused disorder, that have taken away that harmony that was noticeable before. If things continue this way, much more will be destroyed. Despite this, Medjugorje is still a great medicine.
Q. What would you like to say to the parishioners and the monks?
A. ... Conserve the Peace. Pray and fast. Look for perfection and aim for it always. Be happy because Our Lady smiles on you every day. Never forget that. I know what it would mean to me to forget that maternal smile. I would become unable to work, even to live. Do not forget Mary and you will be happy. You will be noble people, permeated with faith. Humanity needs people like this.