From Malta to the Marathon
Two runners from Malta will be taking on the London Marathon this coming Sunday 22nd April.
At 3.30am, four days a week, Fr Patrick Magro SJ closes the door of his Jesuit community residence in Msida and goes on a 20km run. He returns in time to join his Jesuit companions in prayer before they start their day’s work.
Every weekend the run covers over 30km. Clear night or pelting rain, he runs.
“During my working day I encounter so many people who talk about their joys and their difficulties,” said Fr Patrick, the 48-year-old Jesuit priest.
“Running in the early hours of the morning is my form of rest. I am alone, the roads are quiet, most people are asleep. It is a time when I can reflect and pray. It is a challenge, but I enjoy it.”
Forty-one-year-old Mario Farrugia, an accountant by profession is no newcomer to long-distance running. With a good number of races under his belt, he too is making his steps count.
Patrick and Mario have been training hard for their first ever London Marathon, as part of the Jesuit Missions team of 30 to raise awareness and funds for various development projects, which this year includes supporting South Sudanese refugees in Uganda and a Women’s para-legal programme in India.
Fr Patrick Magro SJ, former provincial of Malta now Vocations Promoter of the Euro-Mediterranean Province, is taking the challenge that extra mile by running as one of our iconic mascots, the Womble!
“It’s a little bit crazy, I know, and I will only put on the costume for the first time on arrival in London the day before, with no time to practice, which is a bit of a concern,” he said.
“The thought of running all the way with that huge head on me is a little worrying, and I hope it won’t rain! But I’ll see it to the finish-line, one step at a time.”
Mario Farrugia, said: “Though every race presents its own challenges, a full marathon is a different ball game, which requires building psychological strength, not just physical. Anyone’s support to the cause will play a very important part to help me keep going.”
This article first appeared in The Times of Malta written by Alison Vella, Communications Officer, Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus (Malta).