ROME, JUNE 14, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The diocesan process has been concluded for the beatification of Emmanuele Stablum, a religious hailed by Israel as “Righteous among the Nations” for saving Jews from Nazi persecution.
“An angel,” is how he was described by Tibor Schlosser, adviser of the Israeli Embassy, during the November 2001 ceremony in which Stablum was conferred the “Righteous” recognition posthumously by the Yad Vashem Institute of Jerusalem.
Born in Terzolas in 1895, Stablum wanted to be a priest, but the superiors of the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception asked him to become a doctor first, in order to treat patients of the Dermatological Institute of the Immaculate Conception (IDI), a sanatorium in Rome.
After the Nazi occupation of Italy in September 1943, Brother Emmanuele Stablum, who at the time was director of IDI, decided to save 51 Jews, by hiding them in the institute.
He put cream on the Jews’ faces, so that the police would think they were patients with dermatological problems.
When Stablum died, Italo Levi-Luxardo, a Jewish doctor, wrote that Stablum, in addition to helping Jews, hid officers who did not want to be allied with the German occupation, as well as fugitives from the Nazi purges.
Elio Toaff, the former chief rabbi of Rome, commented: “To speak of the Israeli community’s recognition is too little in regard to the work of salvation undertaken by the IDI which, without taking into account the grave danger it was in by helping Jews, showed with deeds of solidarity its determination to oppose injustice and oppression.”
Brother Stablum was assistant general and later vicar general of his religious congregation. He died in 1950, at age 55.
Today the IDI is considered one of the most prestigious medical centers in Italy for dermatological problems.