The holy lock-breaker

Today is the feast of Blessed Alberto Marvelli, who lived between 1918 and 1946. His story deserves to be widely told.

He led a pious life, filled with prayer and the Eucharist. He was involved with Catholic Action and even ran for public office as a Christian Democrat after the war. He studied engineering but after the war used it to help rebuild his town, taking special care for the poor. As he once said, “The poor are on our doorstep; the others can wait.”

There is an account on the Vatican website, but one line stood out for me. “During the German occupation, Alberto was able to save many people from deportation to the concentration camps, courageously freeing them from the sealed carriages of the trains that were ready to leave the station of Santarcangelo.”

Not only did he feed the poor and rescue the victims of bombing raids, he undercut the Nazi’s deportation program. He was a lock-breaker, a liberator of the oppressed. How many people were willing like him to take such a risk to save a life.

He died after being hit while bicycling on October 5, 1946.

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