Documentary

Free Spirit

© Paolo Bona
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Simeone comes back home in Rocchette Sabina, a small village of 50 inhabitants, after a 50 minutes run. He usually goes to run 3 times a week. He believes that a body in a good shape goes togheter with a good mental shape.

Free Spirit
by Paolo Bona

Having a religious vocation at fifty years it’s been tough for Mr. Enzo Cilento, a former professional journalist from Rome, Italy.
He felt the “call” on 2011, he sold his house, and then he’s got  a catholic consacration as a monk 3 years ago in 2015, making vote of poverty, chastity and obedience.

He choose the name of Simeone as a monk, beacuse like this old Jewish man, mentioned on the Luca’s Gosplel, he recognized Jesus as the Messiah and it’s life was accomplished.

But after a couple of experiences in monastry with other monks, he coulden’t feel very welcome; every monastry and order of friars has it’s own hierarchy (some of them accept only man under 35 years old),  and it’s not easy for a man of 50 years to accept it and to be accepted.

So, following Saint Francis steps, he drove to Umbria and found a good spot for him in Rocchette Sabina, a semi-abandoned village, on the border between Lazio and Umbria, in the Appennini montains of central Italy.

He’s a free spirit, who finds happiness on solitude, wich helps him to fully enjoy the faith.

“It’s like a battery that needs to be recharged before to share his energies”.

In Rocchette he has rented a small place to live, following the same schedule of a monastery.
Wake up at 04:45 am,
first prayer of the day at 05:00,
then cleaning the house,
at 07:00 second prayers,
then he drives to mass at 08:00 on nearby villages, after mass a coffee with the local priest,
work at home, he’s currently reviewing an editorial book about Israel on assignment from a religious editor.

Three times a week he gives pilates lessons at lunchtime on a gym in Magliano Sabina (to pay the rent), he used to do that in Rome since many years; also he’s always been a kind of atlhete and he goes to run 3 times a week for an hour.

He really believes that a body in a good shape goes togheter with a good mental shape.

Prayers at 12:30 (when he goes to the pilates lesson he prays in the car).
Prayers at 15:00
Then Simeone works at his blog, as a journalist that’s the better way for him to connect with people. He has a few thousand of followers.
Prayers at 18:00
Dinner around 19:00
At 20:30 every night he receives a phone call from his mother, as most of the Italians.
Dinner prayers.

Some radio listening; music and drama theatre are his passions.

Through his blog he realised that he cold be a model for other men of his age who have the same needs.

The last ray of light spinse on Rocchette Sabina. A small village founded on 1200 AC of the on the Appennino Laziale mountains.
Simeone during the early morning prayers.
Window lights from Simeone’s place at 05:00am, when the ancient village of Rocchette Sabina is still under the stars and the moon.
I took this picture of Simeone when condense was on my camera lens, afte being outdoor to shoot the littlle village of Rocchette Sabina una cold night. When i realized that, i thought it was a perfect atmosphere and a chance to not be missed.
Hot coffee.
Simeone, drives his vintage car on early morning, going to mass on the nearby village of Magliano Sabina that takes around 20minutes driving.
Simeone praying in his car on a parking spot, before teaching a pilates lesson during lunchtime. on a gym in Magliano Sabina.
Turning on the wooden stove to get some warm on a cold winter day.
Simeone working on his blog. As a former professional journalist that’s the best way to connect with his followers.
Home religious icons.
Outdoor of Simeone’s place in the little village of Rocchette Sabina. As most of the Appennini villages it’s being abandoned. A perfect spot for a solitary monk…

Paolo Bona
the authorPaolo Bona
Paolo Bona, was born in 1970 and began work as a photojournalist in 1993 working primarily for the Milanese daily ‘Il Giorno’ In 1994 he began a 13-year freelance association with the ‘Omega Fotocronache’ agency specialising in sports photography. In 2009 he became a stringer photographer for Thomson Reuters. In 2011 he started to contribute sport images to the agency Italy Photo Press. In 2012 he joined the LUZphoto agency.

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