Most Rev. Benigno Luigi Papa
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On March 6, 2023, in Martina Franca (Taranto), our Most Rev. Benigno Luigi Papa, Archbishop of Taranto and a brother of the Province of Apulia (Italy), has returned to the house of the Father.
Born in 1935, he joined the Capuchin Order in 1953, was ordained a priest in 1961 and a bishop on December 27, 1981 in the Diocese of Oppido Mamertina-Palmi and has served as Archbishop of Taranto since June 9, 1990. He received his licentiate in Dogmatic Theology, Biblical Theology and the Biblical Sciences, and taught in our St. Fara Studentate di S. Fara in Bari and at the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome. He has also held numerous positions in the Order in the area of formation and in other fraternal responsibilities, including the office of Vicar Provincial. In the Italian Bishops’ Conference he was a member and president on multiple commissions, and served as a liaison for the brothers of the Apulian province in the episcopate.
Among the testimonies about him as a religious, formator and pastor: “A man of God who loved scripture and was successful at promoting it, actualizing it and bringing it into context wherever he found himself living and preaching; he knew well how to effectively convey love toward the Word of God; he cultivated and made the most of the dynamics of our common life of fraternity (i.e., serenity, peace, hospitality, dialogue, concordance and an inclusive mindset); even his episcopate was enriched by the most exquisitely Franciscan spirituality, embodied in a simple and passionate way, convincing and contagious…”
In similar fashion, Bishop Benigno spoke of himself, “I would also like to mention an element from my life, which I have always esteemed as a grace from the Lord, even before I was a bishop. I refer to the fact that the Lord made me know St. Francis of Assisi through my belonging to the Capuchin Order. The figure of St. Francis is the figure of a saint from whom we all need to learn … he said, ‘Trust in God; He will take care of us.’”