Pope Francis authorized the promulgation of decrees relating to the heroic virtues of the Servants of God Enrica Beltrame Quattrocchi, daughter of the couple beatified in 2001, of the Franciscan friar Plácido Cortese, killed in the torture inflicted by the Gestapo, and the young mother of Cinisello Balsamo Maria Cristina Cella Mocellin.
Benedetta Capelli / Mariangela Jaguraba – Vatican News
Three figures marked by surrender to God’s love, trust in his mercy and hope in his forgiveness. These are the characteristics that mark the new Venerable Servants of God. After the audience, this Monday (30/08), with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Pope Francis authorized the dicastery to promulgate the Decrees relating to the heroic virtues of Enrica Beltrame Quattrocchi, Plácido Cortese and Maria Cristina Cella Mocellin.
“Ricardo, a gift for us”
The story of a mother that recalls the story of Gianna Beretta Molla and Chiara Corbella Petrillo. It’s the brief but fruitful life of Maria Cristina Cella Mocellin, born on August 18, 1969, in Cinisello Balsamo, in the province of Milan. Growing up in a parish, she began her journey of vocational discernment in the community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Don Bosco during her college years. The encounter with Carlo at age 16 changed her perspective. She felt called to marriage. Two years later, the discovery of a sarcoma in the left leg. Treatments and therapies did not stop her from finishing high school and marrying Carlo in 1991. The couple had two children, but as soon as Maria Cristina discovers she is pregnant with her third child, the disease reappears.
The choice is to continue the pregnancy, undergoing treatments that would not put the baby’s life at risk. In a letter, she tells those moments to Riccardo, her third child:
I objected with all my strength to giving up on you, so much so that the doctor understood everything and said nothing. Riccardo, you are a gift to us. It was that night, in the car returning from the hospital, that you moved for the first time. It felt like it was saying to me “Thanks mom for loving me!” How could we not love you? You are precious, and when I look at you and see you so beautiful and lively and friendly, I think there is no suffering in the world that is not worth bearing for a child.
Maria Cristina died at the age of 26, certain of the Father’s love, faithful to him in his plans.
A family loved by God
Nine years after his death in Rome, the Church recognizes the heroic virtues of Enrica Beltrame Quattrocchi, the last daughter of Blessed Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi and Maria Corsini, deceased at 98 years old. A family that has lived a path of holiness, demonstrating, said John Paul II who beatified them in 2001, that “it is possible, it is beautiful, it is extraordinarily fruitful and it is fundamental for the good of the family, the Church and society”.
Enrica was determined to follow in the footsteps of her brothers: Father Tarcisio, Sister Cecilia and Father Paolino, but her destiny was different, her vocation was to accompany her elderly parents. In his voluntary work, in Damas de São Vicente, with whom he went to the most difficult neighborhoods of the capital, in Ação Católica together with his mother, he dedicated himself to teaching. From 1976 onwards, he was Superintendent of the Ministry of Cultural and Environmental Heritage. His life was marked by various illnesses, economic difficulties, but above all by prayer, by daily participation in Mass. In recent years, he has spent his time helping couples in crisis. God’s love was his reason for living.
The man of charity and the word
The outstanding feature of the Friar Minor Placido Cortese it was the ability to surrender totally. Patient, simple, ready to face difficult situations like those that marked the last years of his life. Born on March 7, 1907 in Cherso (now Croatia), in 1930 he became a priest, served in the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua and a few years later became director of the magazine “The Messenger of St. Anthony”.
During World War II, on behalf of the Apostolic Nuncio in Italy, Monsignor Francesco Borgongini Duca, he helped the Croats and Slovenes in the Italian concentration camps, especially in Chiesanuova, near Padua. His commitment was relentless, after the 1943 armistice, to facilitate the escape of former Allied prisoners, but also of people persecuted by the Nazis, including Jews. An availability that was interpreted by the Germans as political activity and that led to his death. On October 8, 1944, through a ruse, he was lured out of the Basilica of St. Anthony, which was located in an extraterritorial area. He was taken to the SS barracks in Trieste, where he died after the harsh torture he suffered.