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Alberto Marvelli, a Politician of God

At Beatification Mass, Pope Recalls a Postwar Protagonist

LORETO, Italy, SEPT. 5, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The secret of Alberto Marvelli, an Italian engineer and postwar politician, was the giving of his life for Jesus and his brothers, John Paul II said at his beatification.

In his homily at today’s beatification Mass, addressed to 250,000 people gathered near the Shrine of Loreto, the Pope sketched the profile of this “strong and free youth, generous son of the Church of Rimini and of Catholic Action.”

He “conceived the whole of his brief life of just 28 years as a gift of love to Jesus for the good of his brothers,” the Holy Father said.

John Paul II recalled the words Marvelli wrote in his diary: “Jesus has enveloped me with his grace,” “I see only Him, I think only of Him.”

Alberto Marvelli was born in 1918. He was a childhood friend of film director Federico Fellini, and a member of Catholic Action. In 1941, at the end of his university studies in mechanical engineering, Marvelli had to enlist in the Italian army, even though he condemned the war.

Discharged from the front, he dedicated himself to aiding the poor during the conflict.

He succeeded in rescuing many young people from deportation during the German occupation.

“In the difficult period of World War II, which sowed death and multiplied atrocious violence and suffering, Blessed Alberto lived an intense spiritual life, from which arose that love of Jesus which led him to forget himself constantly to carry the cross of the poor,” the Pope said in his homily.

After the city of Rimini was liberated in 1945, Marvelli’s name was among the members of the first Junta of the Committee of Liberation. He was just 26, and became one of the protagonists of the postwar reconstruction of the city. He was a member of the Christian Democratic Party.

On the evening of Oct. 5, 1946, while he was riding his bicycle to an election meeting — he was a candidate for the first communal administration — he was struck and killed by a truck.

“Alberto made of the daily Eucharist the center of his life,” John Paul II said during the Mass. “He also sought in prayer inspiration for his political commitment, convinced of the need to live fully as children of God in history, to make the latter a story of salvation.”

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