This is the third of ten letters between Abbot Follo and Michele Zullo. In addition to talk about cloth for vestments and the Organ, this letter mentions the coming Holy Year, 1950, of the Catholic Church. Holy Years (Anno Santo) are held every 50 years or so sometimes with special years in between. They are meant to revive the spirits of the faithful. The Holy Year of 1950, in addition to aiming at a revival of faith, also was aimed at combatting communism.
Abbot Follo also mentions in this letter that he has ceased correspondence with anyone else in the Padulesi community in America s they have not answered his letters. In previous letters we learned that he was writing to Saverio Musto. Apparently there was a break in relationships between them.
Below is a jpeg image of the original letter in Italian followed by the English translation.
ORIGINAL LETTER IN ITALIAN
LETTER Follo-Zullo 4Dec49.
ENVELOPE: postmarked Paduli, Benevento, 6-12-49 (6 December 1949) Al Commendatore Zullo Michele, 186 – 05 Jamaica Ave, HOLLIS – N.Y., U.S.A. Two postage stamps each of 50 lire. Back of envelope D.G. Battista Follo, Abate, (Benevento) PADULI, Italy]
December 4, 1949
I have received the package so kindly sent to me by the Lady, your wife. I received it all with immense pleasure, and I cannot find appropriate words capable of thanking your most kind-hearted wife for such affection and such thoughtfulness. I found everything to be in perfect order and of the best condition, especially the packets of soup. Everything, everything was the best, and thus I thank you a thousand and again a thousand times.
How can I return such affection? I hope that it may become possible for me in the coming Holy Year to have the pleasure of being able to host you in our home. I take this opportunity to repeat my invitation to you to come and absolutely to be guests in my home. Come, together with your wife and other members of your family, but only on the precise condition that you must stay as guests in my home and no other. It would be for us an immense pleasure and a great honor if we were to have such good fortune. Come. We all anxiously await you.
I have not had any news from you for some time; nor have you informed me whether you have received the diploma naming you Commendatore. I sent it to you, Registered Mail, dated November 8, and I believe that it should have reached you by now, and I await your assurance with respect to this matter. This high honor has been given to you, with the consent of His Holy Eminence the Archbishop, to reward you for all that you have done for our Church in Paduli. I believe that you must be pleased, along with your family, which is now tied to me and to us with indissoluble pathways of friendship and affection both sincere and loyal, and without any self-interest or anything else that might serve to dilute our affection.
Now you are the only person who remains tied to me and to whom I continue to write with pleasure. With the others, I have suspended all correspondence, also because they no longer write to me.
From Turin they have informed me that you have ordered the sound diffuser [for the organ], and yet as of now they still have not come to exchange it. I fear that not even by Christmas time will it be possible to play the organ, precisely due to the lack of this second diffuser. However, I hope that before Christmas they will come to put in the new one.
As for the Bronze Plaque, I have not had any news. How come? Perhaps there is no longer enough money to pay for it? I am here as always: when the Plaque arrives, it will be my duty to place it as a perpetual record of your gift.
As for the fabric needed for my vestments, I have already informed you in my letter of November 12 that I need seven meters of pure wool. Your wife is knowledgeable regarding these materials, and thus I trust her exclusively on this matter.
Once again, a thousand and a thousand thanks for all the concern that you have shown in my regard. May the time come when I will be able to return your affection and thoughtfulness.
My family salutes you lovingly, and I await your coming here in the coming Holy Year. I extend to you my most sincere congratulations for your nomination as Commendatore, and in the hope of reading your letters, I salute you and your wife.
Yours always most affectionate friend,
Abbot G. Battista Follo