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Pope Remembers ‘Martyrdom’ of Fr. Roberto Malgesini, Priest Murdered in Como

Remembers That Italian Priest Had Been Helping the Tunisian Immigrant With Mental Illness Who Killed Him

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“I give praise to God for the witness, that is, for the martyrdom, of this witness of charity towards the poorest.”

This is how Pope Francis remembered Father Roberto Malgesini, murdered yesterday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Como, Italy.

The Pontiff’s comments came toward the conclusion of his weekly Wednesday General Audience, held in the presence of faithful in the Courtyard of San Damaso within the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.

“I would like to recall at this moment Don Roberto Malgesini, the priest of the diocese of Como who was killed yesterday morning by a person in need,” Francis began.

This person, which news sources have identified as a Tunisian migrant will mental illness, Pope Francis said “Don Malgesini himself helped,” noting the perpetrator was “a person who was mentally ill.”

“I join,” he said, “the pain and the prayers of his family and the community of Como and, as his Bishop said, I give praise to God for the witness, that is, for the martyrdom, of this witness of charity towards the poorest.”

“Let us pray in silence,” the Holy Father asked, “for Don Roberto Malgesini and for all the priests, nuns, lay people, lay people who work with people in need and [that] are rejected by society. ”

After greeting Italian faithful, the Pope addressed the elderly, young people, the sick and newlyweds. Recalling the Church’s recent celebration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Pope Francis prayed: “May the Cross, a sign of faith in Christ, be a comfort and an image of unshakable hope for all. “

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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