Pope Francis on February 4, 2018, hailed the beatification of the young Teresio Olivelli (1916-1945), Italian layman who was killed in hatred of the faith in 1945, at the Nazi camp in Hersbruck (Germany).
The beatification was held on February 3, 2018, in Vigevano, Italy. The Pope’s comments came after the prayer of the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square.
The Pope paid homage to the new Blessed: “He has borne witness to Christ through the love of the weak, and he is united with the long rank of the martyrs of the last century.”
“May his heroic sacrifice,” he said, “be the seed of hope and fraternity, especially for young people.”
Soldier, resistant to fascism and Nazism, founder of a clandestine newspaper in Milan, Teresio Olivelli was deported in 1944. He died at the age of 29, on January 17, 1945, of the fatal blows received for having sought to serve as a shield by his body to a young Ukrainian prisoner who was brutally beaten.
His beatification was held at the Vigevano Sports Palace, presided over by Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. “To speak of Teresio Olivelli,” he said in his homily, “is to speak of a young enthusiast of his faith and a lover of his country.”
“During the war on the Russian front or in the concentration camps, the purity of his simple faith, convinced, touched … he encouraged, supported, consoled, comforted,” Cardinal Amato continued: “the soldiers found a warm welcome and religious comfort in Teresio. He loved God, he loved the Church, he loved the Pope, he loved others with this evangelical charity taught by Jesus … Charity was the fabric of his life. “