of Blessed Albert Marvelli
Member of the Salesian Youth Center at Rimini
by Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB,Postulator General of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family
(ANS – Rome – March 19) – Blessed Albert Marvelli, exemplary Salesian past pupil, was born on March 21, 1918, in Ferrara, Italy. 100 years have passed, and many in the world know his life and his educational, charitable, social, and political commitments.
As a member of the Salesian youth center in Rimini, he followed the example of Dominic Savio and matured in his faith by making a decisive choice: “My program is summed up in one word: saint.” In just 28 years he achieved a “full measure” of life by spending himself totally in love of God and neighbor.
When his life was tragically interrupted [by a traffic accident] on October 5, 1946, many believed they had lost him forever and that his commitment, support, and example would be lost.
But saints have a “posthumous” life. Today, more than ever, Albert is alive and active: the good he has worked upon the earth has expanded in time and space. His exemplary holiness has become a model for laity committed in works across the globe, in search of Christian identity and of lives consistent with their faith. He opened a new road, which can be traveled by everyone. The diffusion of his witness in the world, the many young people who have taken him as a model, are the sure signs that he remains a living and working person among us all.
Celebrating his centennial, in this special year that the Church is dedicating to young people with the Synod of Bishops, means not just commemorating, but acknowledging this presence, as St. John Paul II indicated on the day of his beatification, September 5, 2004: “It is up to you lay persons to bear witness to faith through the virtues specific to you: fidelity and tenderness in the family, competence in work, tenacity in serving the common good, solidarity in social relations, creativity in undertaking works useful for evangelization and human promotion. It is up to you to show – in close communion with your pastors – that the Gospel is current, contemporary, and that faith does not take believers away from history, but immerses them more profoundly in history.”