In the Instagram bio, the “Priest-poet of Love” with a capital A. In his profile photo, he appears on a red background. Red like love, in fact. Don Cosimo Schena he became a priest almost 13 years ago, today he carries out his pastoral service at the Parish of San Francesco d’Assisi in Brindisi, “on the outskirts”, he explains to me on the phone, in his seraphic and deep voice.
But it is an understatement: because his “sermons”, his vision of life and love today reach thousands of faithful, scattered throughout Italy, and beyond.
Don Cosimo, in fact, is a influence to all intents and purposes, the numbers speak for themselves: his videos on TikTok have won more than 147,000 consents. His followers on Facebook are growing every day and his posts individually reach 75,000 comments. Almost 50,000 followers do not miss a story on Instagram. In the last year, the poet of love has also depopulated on Spotify and, to date, his poems have over 6 million plays. In short, poetry as a bridge to reach even those hearts far from God.
Brindisino, born in 1979 and a course of study started in the faculty of engineering, Don Cosimo felt his vocation in 2000. “Nothing striking – he explains to me on the phone – I attended the parish and in front of my eyes I had a fine example of a priest, Don Adriano, who intrigued me and questioned my desire to have a large family. I was very torn, but during the World Youth Day I had the “call”, so I took the strength and the courage to choose and entered the seminary ».
In 2009 he became a priest. His passion for knowledge leads him to obtain a degree in Philosophy and to share, with the faithful and not, his vocation for God and his talent aimed at poetry. Among the most followed priests on social media, Don Cosimo is at the head of a real cultural revolution: with his love verses set to music, also on Spotify, he rejuvenates the old stereotypes that characterize the church, rhyming his love for God and thus becoming the creator of an unparalleled viral phenomenon.
«It all started by chance a few years ago – he says -, they contacted me to participate in a poetry contest. I didn’t win, but they asked me to write eight poems to collect in a series, later released in audio format. From there, thanks to the support of my parishioners, I decided to get involved and started reading my poems on social networks. The public’s favor came in a completely unexpected way ».
With stories, poem after poem, the social channels of the poet of love reach important numbers at an ever more pressing pace, so much so that he becomes everyone’s priest, in constant contact with his faithful. This also pushes him to start studying Psychology, to try to be close in the right way. «They ask me for advice, prayers, a word of comfort and come back to tell me how their experience went. I believe there is a widespread need for love, which is why I always try to respond to all those who write to me. I am thrilled to be a point of reference, of closeness and support for thousands of young people who follow me on social networks ».
There is a great, very great need for love among the people. For this reason, at the center of all his compositions is the disruptive one, with a capital A. The recipe for his digital triumph is given by the multiform facets with which his poems can be interpreted.
“Personally I mean God, but everyone can decline my words for relationships and personal relationships according to their own experience. Thanks to social media, my message of faith and hope for the future is made available to everyone and can also reach those who are far from God. We were created to enter into relationships with others, so the invitation is to love, because a life without love is a life without life».
Don Cosimo’s publications are available on Youtube and on his Spotify channel. But – and here’s the news – in bookstores and online it just came out “Love flies”, published by Herkules Editore, a collection of unpublished poems on the power of love in all its manifestations. The poet tells of a resilient love, capable of transforming everyone’s heart even in the face of difficulties and wounds, a love with a transfiguring power, which can push upwards, until it reaches the summit of the supreme Love, that of God.
Not only that: every Monday, at noon, the address book is online on its social channels “In Love”, where the priest from Brindisi offers his reflections on love, forgiveness and acceptance, giving voice to one of his poems to deepen the chosen theme.
“It gives me joy to know that my words can inspire and instill serenity, especially in this time of uncertainty. In recent months I have been inundated with people’s affection. Every day they ask me to be more and more present. So, my parishioners and I thought about this column. And among the thousands of requests for prayer and support that I receive daily, I have chosen the most popular themes ».
Every week Don Cosimo explores one of the infinite facets that characterize the feeling that involves everyone in everyday life: love, but always in the light of God. «Anyone who knows me knows that my motto is ‘God is love’, this will be our slogan. We must not forget that we were created by love, consequently we cannot but love. “In Love” is a space in which we will strive to reflect on the great value of love, not superficially, but digging deep to find the real meaning of this feeling. We will also do it through my poems ».