Both authors participated in the event: Enza Annunziata, a member of the Teresian Association and medical doctor specialized in oncology, working at the “Hospice Villa Esperanza” in Rome. She has worked in Peru, in the Napo River (Amazon Jungle), with the Italian Cooperation Agency (PRODOCS), and in Villa El Salvador (Pachacamac) in the outskirts of Lima, with a health project of the Teresian Association. Rinaldo Paganelli, a Dehonian Priest, doctor in Catechetical and Youth Ministry by the Salesian Pontifical University of Rome, where he is now professor of Catechetics, and director of “Evangelizzare” magazine.
In the presentation, the authors shared their life experience in the slums of Peru that led them to express “the gestures of mercy” which they have made visible in the book.
Their stories evoked faces that seemed to talk. They took the minds of the audience to Villa El Salvador so that they could know the life of “the least of our fellow men, of those who, although feeling inside the burning effect of injustices, do not have words to express them. Words that weren’t lent to them so that their voice could be heard”.
The two authors were in Jaén at the beginning of the celebration of the centenary of the Teresian Academy in the city. It was in honor of Pedro Poveda, that man who “went down from Jerusalem to Jericho” and wasn’t carried away by rush or fear. He knew how to lend his voice and his word to those who were in need of them, to the smallest ones, to those who had neither power nor goods.
“This encounter has made quite an impression on me; we have to leave aside our little problems, our small difficulties,” said Maria after the presentation.
“We were speechless before that reality,” commented Lola and Javier. Many of the participants asserted that they had been “marked by their gestures of mercy”
“The experience of this meeting has not left us the same as we were before; it has moved our heart, it has touched our feelings and has encouraged us to be determined not to look away from our brother or sister who walk along with us every day,” expressed Ana Mari Quirós and Juani Benítez.
About the book
Nieves San Martín, in her critical analysis of the book, wrote in the Zenit publication: "For the fulfillment of their mission, the authors have gone into the reality of the slums of America, or the Amazon Jungle in Perú. In their report (as if it were a piano concert played by four hands) the two narrators enliven a book full of soul. It contains the testimonies of their lacerating experience.
It is a book that makes one think, reflect, pray and question ourselves about what type of Christian spirit we are living. Everything around those people’s life and the thousands of questions brought about by the disease, in many cases the result of misery, and the preparation for a coexistence with diverse living experiences marked by the always brief term that draws the borderline between life and death”.
“As the man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho – says the presentation of the book published in Spain by Sal Terrae – we are also travelers, perhaps with an itinerary, a goal and many objectives that are clearly designed in our heart. 'A Church on the way,' an expression very much emphasized by Pope Francis, implies a journey with lightweight luggage.
Often we encounter someone along the way…and what do we do then? We could be carried out by the rush or the fear, as the priest and the Levite of the parable, or, rather, to decide to stop guided by the awareness that the person we meet is not only someone who needs us, but also someone we have need of,” adds the presentation of the book.