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      World, 8 January 2023 -- A Salesian Cooperator, Venerable Attilio Giordani (1913-1972) is suggested by the Rector Major in his 2023 Strenna commentary as one of the most attractive models for lay people and youth in the Salesian Family. Yet Attilio is not yet very well known among Salesian Lay Mission Partners, although 50 years have already passed since his death. There is not much mterial about him in English for now, just a few life sketches and a short 6 minute videos showing his life as leader, catechist, missionary and clever Lay Salesian who inspired many lay people in the Salesian Family. There is especially ht testimony of his two children - Piergiorgio and Mariagrazia.

       Fr Angel F Artime presents him in the 2023 Strenna commentary:

       "Born in Milan on 3 February 1913, he distinguished himself since his early years for his great passion for the Salesian Oratory of Saint Augustine and, already at the age of eighteen, for his dedication to the young people who went there. For decades he was a diligent catechist and a constant and brilliant leader, with so much simplicity and joy. He looked after the liturgy, formation, games free time, theatre. He loved God with all his heart and found the resources for the life of grace in sacramental life, prayer and spiritual direction. During his military service, which began in 1934 and ended, in stages, in 1945, he demonstrated an apostolic approach among his comrades in arms. He was employed with the Pirelli Firm in Milan where he also spread joy and good humour, and a profound sense of duty.

       On 6 May 1944, he married a catechist, Noemi D’Avanzo. They would have three children: Piergiorgio, Mariagrazia, Paola. In his family he was a husband and father, rich in great faith and serenity, chosen austerity and evangelical poverty for the benefit of the most needy. Without taking anything away from the family, he made the oratory his second family, putting his wealth of inventiveness and extraordinary educational skill at the youngsters’ service. In agreement with his wife Noemi, he left for Mato Grosso (Brazil) to share his own children’s choice of missionary commitment. On 18 December 1972, during a meeting, after speaking enthusiastically and ardently of the duty to lay down one’s life for others, he suddenly felt himself failing. He was just in time to tell his son, “Pier, you carry on” and then died of a heart attack. He has been Venerable since 9 October 2013.

       His life as an apostolically committed Christian took on such a determined and personal orientation to discover (these are all his words): “The joy of serving Christ”; “not being good just for those who are good”; “Living in the world without being of the world”; “Go against the current”; “Not seeking but giving”; “It is necessary to live what you want to make live.” This was something that matured over the different stages of his life: as a teenager, as a young soldier then as a soldier on the Greek-Albanian military front, as shown in his “War Diary”. The choice of his fiancée Noemi Davanzo was also motivated by reasons of faith, as she wrote in a letter: “When the Lord brought you to me, he placed before me your love and spirit of dedication to those who are especially beloved of the Saviour. This was the main trigger that prompted me to ask you to be my companion.”

       Attilio’s faith was so great that it is truly a “sign” of God’s presence: in the family, in the oratory, in the parish community and for those who meet him: a faith that is more than proclaimed – it shines through his actions and his way of being: “The extent of our belief is manifested in our being.”

       Related resources:

       Related Attilio Giordani – Testimonials video


 

 

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