Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 26, 1951
NUMBER 50, PAGE 8-9b

A Converted Catholic Writes

Fausto Salvoni, Milano, Italy

(Editor's Note: The following letter, sent to us by brother Jimmy Wood of Brownfield, Texas, is from an ex-priest who was recently baptized into Christ. This letter gives some evidence of the progress, and the opportunities, of the work being done by gospel preachers in Italy. If there have been doubts and apprehension concerning some phases of the Italian work, there can certainly be no doubt concerning the value of one soul turned from darkness to light, from Catholicism to Christ.)

"I was born in a Catholic family that was very much attached to their religion. When I was twelve years old they sent me to a seminary for preparation to be a priest. This education was very formalistic, and our every movement was determined by the instructors. In the strictness of this environment, where no freedom of thought was allowed, my faith was actually killed. However, I remained in this seminary because it was possible to study the Bible, and it was my desire to become a specialist in this field.

Ten years later, I graduated from this school with my degree in the field of theology. Because of my youth I was sent to Rome to study in the Bible Institute there. For three years I concentrated upon the Oriental and Biblical languages. During this study of the Scriptures, my faith that had been lost in the seminary was renewed. It was during this stay in Rome that I was ordained a Priest.

After three years in Rome, I was invited to teach the Bible and Theology in the University of the Priests in Milan. In this school I began to encounter difficulty because my teaching of the Scriptures was exactly as I thought the Scriptures were meant to be, but quite different from the traditional Catholic interpretation. It was not long before directors of the school began an investigation of the things I had been teaching. This resulted in my being forbidden to teach further in this school.

Continues Bible Study

I was very soon offered the position of the pastorate Priest of the district of Treviglio near the city of Bergamo. I accepted this position because it was my desire to do as much as possible for others, just as Christ said that He did not come to be served but to serve. (Matt. 20:24-28) I had much work to do in this position, but in my spare time I continued to study the Bible, prepare comments on certain books of the Bible, and to go annually to the Bible Conference in Rome. Gradually during my study of the Bible, I began to obtain a spirit that was not in harmony with the Catholic traditions. Little by little I began to be convinced by the Scriptures that the Catholic interpretation of the physical change in the Lord's Supper was foreign to the Bible idea. The infallibility of the pope, the priesthood, the confession, and the sacrifice of the Mass were things that I could not harmonize with the Bible teaching. Because of these things it was impossible for me to remain the servant of error. Hence, it seemed that the only thing left to do was to leave the Catholic Church in order to live as closely as possible to the teachings of the Bible. I knew that in the country of Italy' this step meant giving up a life of plenty for a life of poverty.

Questions Arise

Am I really in the truth? Is it possible that all the millions of Catholics lack the intelligence to come to the knowledge of the truth that is revealed in the Scriptures?

These thoughts tormented me day and night, and were my thoughts in prayer and meditation. I desired that I might receive some light to aid me in this decision. On the morning of the sixth of January, I prayed to God with greater fervor and adoration than ever before: "Father in Heaven, if you love this creature that is so suffering in an aspiration to know the truth, tell me what I must do. Must I abandon Catholicism or not? Is my faith right, or have I made a mistake?" I was ready in that instant to do whatever was suggested or necessary. In that moment I felt a desire within me that seemed to say, "Take the Gospel and read it."

I took the Bible and began to read it, and the first Scripture that caught my attention was, "Go, your faith has saved you." (Mk. 10:52) I immediately went to my knees in prayer to God and thanked him for this fortification of my faith and asked Him for ability to carry out what I knew was right. God did help me over the great obstacles that were in my path: opposition by my own family, the difficulty of making a living, the prohibition of the publication of my books, ridicule and slander from old friends. But in this moment I understood the meaning of the words of Jesus recorded in Luke 12:51-53. God did not abandon me, but made it possible for me to find from day to day the necessary food to sustain my life and health. However, during this period I was compelled from time to time to sell part of my collection of books in order to live.

I sensed the need of a church, the fellowship of brethren who had a similar faith in the Bible. Christ said, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am in the midst of them." (Matt. 18:20) I felt the need of this closer union with Christ and the desire to continue to work in his vineyard. I believed that Christ would make this possible for me, although I had no idea how it would come.

One day I accidentally met a friend on the tram whom I had known in Rome, but whom I had not seen for a long time. During the course of our conversation he said to me, "Do you know that the Church of Christ that is in Frascati is also in Milano?"


"Yes. They have their meeting place in Via. Verga 14."

I went to that place, although with a fear in my heart that the group would be like most of the other Protestant groups who add their creeds and human traditions to the Bible. I found there a cordial welcome and much sympathy. I was greatly impressed by the genuine way in which the preachers strove to preach and practice only the gospel. I participated regularly in their classes and instruction.

I was baptized the ninth day of January with great emotion and amidst the cordial sympathy of the brethren of the Church of Christ. I am very grateful to the American brethren who had the forethought to send preachers of the Word into this city, making it possible for me to become a part of this true Christian community. It is my greatest desire at present to do all that is in my power to free men from the traditions and to help the world return to the simple message of Christ. In gratification to Christ and His church I want to labor with my pen and with my tongue and by every possible means to bring about this great restoration. I ask the brethren in America and in every part of the world to pray for me as I begin my labors with His church.

A brother in Christ, Fausto Salvoni