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Friday, December 28, 2012

Praying with Bl. Alberto Marvelli

This evening at 5:30 p.m. local time in Rimini, Italy, a prayer service was held at Sant'Agostino church beseeching the intercession of Bl. Alberto Marvelli for peace in an ever violent world. The occasion was the Feast of the Holy Innocents, on which the Catholic Church commemorates those infant boys two and younger whom Herod had slain. The postulator for Bl. Alberto's cause, his friend Don Fausto Lanfranchi, asked that those who could not be there in person unite themselves in prayer by praying the prayers on their own.

As most won't read the prayers' original Italian, I've taken the opportunity to translate the prayer service into English. Please enjoy, and do pray. It's a worthy intention.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

In the year in which the Church invites us to rediscover our faith, we come in prayer to life and the words of Bl. Alberto Marvelli, to help them become "credible witnesses of the risen Christ and joyful, able to point out to our brothers in search the door of faith" (Benedict XVI).

Faith is to accept the gift of peace.
From the Gospel according to John, 14, 12-27:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will do the works that also I do, he will do even more, because I go to the Father, and what you ask the Father in My name, I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me keep My commandments, and I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete, to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world can not receive, because it seeth and knoweth Him not, but you know Him for He dwelleth in you and in you. Who has My commandments, and keepeth them, he loves Me, and he who loves Me will be loved by My father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. Whoever loves Me will keep My word, and My Father will love him and We will come to him and make Our home with him. Who does not love Me does not keep My words, and now the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father who sent Me. I have told you these things while I was still with you, but the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said. I leave you peace, My peace I give you. I give it to you not as the world gives. Your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid."

From the "Notes" of Alberto Marvelli:
"Lord, may we soon experience Your kingdom of peace and love, of justice for the peoples and nations, truth and joy for souls who are thirsty for truth, of the defeat the evil, of the triumph of good, because we all ardently desire, repeating and singing, together with the angels and the saints, the choirs of Cherubim and Seraphim who surround You, the magnificent words of the Our Father, the prayer that you taught us: Domine, fiat voluntas tua, Adveniat Regnum tuum."

Say the "Our Father."

- God of love and peace, we cannot pretend to achieve the ability to live well or in peace without You. We can not expect to overcome our inner anxieties and personal conflicts if we do not turn to You, Lord of peace, Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, Who have suffered death to give us peace. We ask that the peace that surpasses all understanding will reassure our thoughts, our will, our hearts.
Through the intercession of Alberto, we pray, "Lord hear us."
- Lord, we pray for the Church. Help us, Lord, to make a contribution, however small, so that everyone can recognize
members of one body and grow in mutual cooperation and mutual support.
Through the intercession of Alberto, we pray, "Lord hear us."

Peace is the rejection of any war: the life of Alberto Marvelli
"1939 is the dreadful year in which has descended on the world the darkness of the Second World War. Vain are the calls for peace by Pius XII.... Italy, though unprepared for the conflict, entered the war a year later, June 10, 1940, following the overwhelming strong German successes against France and England. Even Rimini, in the afternoon of June 10, 1940 was mobilized. The "bell" sent its mournful tolling, which echoed all the other bells. The voice of the leader [Mussolini, literally "il Duce"] was heard in the two squares of the historic city center by way of high speakers ... Despite the propaganda campaign which saw the war as an easy adventure, Alberto condemned it openly, calling it "a catastrophic moment for society," so convinced was he that war was not necessary and that it could be avoided. On 31 January 1941, he wrote in his diary: "We are at war for eight months. All men speak of peace, desire peace, but few are those who, like the Pope, are working for it, to keep it, to bring her back. How many lives are sacrificed, how many young people have shed their blood, how many sorrows are renewed ...  The root cause of the war is our little love for God and for men. Missing is the spirit of charity in the world, and, therefore, we hate each other as enemies rather than love one another as brothers, [even though] all [have been] redeemed by Christ" (by Don Fausto Lanfranchi, Alberto Marvelli, engineer, laborer of charity).

 - For world peace and for the justice which is its prerequisite. Lord, we ask that You end all tyranny and oppressive rule, and give us the courage to do our part so as to fulfill Your plan of salvation. Through the intercession of Alberto, we pray, "Lord, hear us."
 - For all the wars that nobody ever talks about because they do not affect our economic interests. Lord, let not our comforts make us deaf to the cries of the dying. Through the intercession of Alberto, we pray, "Lord, hear us."

 Peace will come ...
 If we believe that forgiveness goes beyond revenge.
 If we know the happiness of others sing and dance their joy.
 If we we can still listen to those who causes us to lose time and give them a smile.
 If we we accept criticism and treasure it.
 If we we accept and adopt an opinion different from ours.
 If we prefer to be damaged than to hurt someone.
 If we refuse to come after us "no matter what happens."
 If we stand on the side of the poor and oppressed without considering ourselves heroes.
 If we believe that love is the only power for discussion.
 If we believe that peace is possible ...
 Then peace will come.

Meditation and personal prayer

Peace is built up in the little things of everyday life: the life of Alberto Marvelli
 "Suddenly, on March 7, 1933, after returning from a business trip to Austria, Alberto's father Alfredo fell seriously ill. The diagnosis was cerebral spinal meningitis. He died After only three days ... Alberto, who was only fifteen-years-old, suffered deeply. His father's death put both his faith and his emotional stability to the test ... Yet even the death of the father was gradually experienced as a time of maturation. Despite his youth, Alberto now supported his mother and siblings, becoming almost a second father to the whole family ... In the parish, he played football, volleyball, and ping pong. Alberto was a great athlete and happily spent his energies in football. He played the position of striker for the team and scored some beautiful goals. When he played, the team was sure to win. But there were many guys who wanted to play on the team, so Alberto retired and gave way to others. He contented himself with serving as a referee ... In high school, he stood out for his moral qualities. His willingness to help his  fellow students, his loyalty to the teachers ... Once, in the third high school, when all the men's section received a collective disciplinary note, even Alberto was punished. However, he managed to persuade the perpetrators to present themselves to the principal and apologize" (from Don Fausto Lanfranchi's "Alberto Marvelli, engineer laborer of charity").

Prayer of St. Francis

 - Lord, we ask You to help us learn from Alberto the ability to commit ourselves in our daily lives, knowing we will never lack your help, because "all our greatness comes from Your littleness, all our power from Your weakness, all our wisdom from Your madness." Through the intercession of Alberto, We pray, "Lord, hear us."
 - Lord, give us the grace that the object of our prayers will also be the focus of our work. Through the intercession of Alberto, We pray, "Lord, hear us."
 - Lord, keep us far from the "heroic" intentions, which we never manage to keep. Help us to live well each day -- at home, at work, in the church -- without wanting or expecting to solve our problems and those of neighbor all at once. Through the intercession of Alberto, We pray, "Lord, hear us."
 - Personal intentions ...

Prayer to Alberto Marvelli:
O God, almighty Father, rich in mercy, thank you for giving us Alberto, a sign of Your love for us. We contemplate the wonders that You have done in him: his solid prayer life, his generous social and political engagement, his  burning love for the poor, the faith, hope, and charity that he heroically practiced in every area of his life. Through the intercession of Alberto, we ask You, Father, to grant that we may imitate his virtues and become like him, witnesses of your love in the world. Give us all spiritual and material grace so that we, like him, will love and serve Your Church and work for the peace and salvation of creation. Amen.

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