“Popular piety, a true expression of the spontaneous missionary activity of the people of God”

Message of Card. Turkson for the annual meeting of the International Catholic Committee for Gypsies


From 6 to 8 April 2018, in conjunction with the International Gypsy Day, "Romanò Dives", the Annual Meeting of the International Catholic Committee for Gypsies (CCIT) was held at the Marian Shrine in Banneux, Belgium.

For the occasion, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Card. Peter K. A. Turkson, sent a Message of reflection on the theme "Popular piety, worship and devotion". The Prefect recalled the figure of Blessed Zeffirino Giménez Malla, gypsy and martyr of the Rosary, as an example of "excellence of authentic popular piety and religiosity".

"The life of the Blessed Zeffirino - reads the Message - reflects that piety which "makes people capable of generosity and sacrifice up to heroism, when it comes to manifesting faith; involves an acute sense of God's profound attributes: fatherhood, providence, loving and constant presence; generates inner attitudes rarely observed elsewhere in the same degree: patience, sense of the cross in daily life, detachment, openness to others, devotion".

Hence, Cardinal Turkson recalls that “through his teachings, Pope Francis dedicates  lots of attention to popular piety and speaks of it with love and emotion, above all in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium”, in which the Holy Father explains that “Expressions of popular piety have much to teach us; for those who are capable of reading them, they are a locus theologicus which demands our attention, especially at a time when we are looking to the new evangelization” (EG n. 126)


Click for the complete Message in Italian

06 April 2018