A Politico Who Strove for Sanctity

Alberto Marvelli Aimed to Rebuild Postwar Italy

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II will soon beatify Alberto Marvelli, an Italian who dedicated himself to politics in the postwar era as an evangelical service.

On July 7, in the presence of the Pope, the decree was promulgated recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of this young member of Catholic Action.

Alberto Marvelli (1918-1946) of the Rimini Diocese was educated and trained by the Salesians and Catholic Action. An engineer, he was a man of deep spirituality who aided the poor during World War II.

Committed to the reconstruction of Italy after the war, Marvelli was a member of the executive committee of the Christian Democratic Party. He died after being hit by a truck.

The miracle attributed to Marvelli’s intercession was experienced by a doctor of Bologna, who was inexplicably cured from a type of hernia in 1991.

In postwar Rimini, the future blessed went without shoes, which he had given away to the poor, and constantly rode his bicycle from the city to places where refugees were hiding, to give them food and spiritual consolation.

Alberto Marvelli was the son of Alfredo Marvelli, a bank employee, and Maria, who was involved in women’s charitable groups, Catholic Action and the Salesian Oratory. She had a marked influence on her son’s spiritual growth.

Alberto’s vocation was evident from his youth; he became a member of Catholic Action at 12. He had a great love for the Eucharist. He would begin his day in Church, before involving himself in his intense work.

“It is as if the Church were repeating to us that all lay Christians can live like saints by living normally in the family, in a profession, in politics,” the president of Catholic Action in Italy, Paola Bignardi, said when hearing the news of Marvelli’s forthcoming beatification.

The beatification “represents an implicit recognition of Catholic Action as a school of lay holiness,” Bignardi said.

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