Pope Francis met with officers and soldiers of the Italian Carabinieri in St. Peter’s Square, commended Salvo D’Aquisto, deputy captain of the Carabinieri, who sacrificed his life for justice, and encouraged those present to make “our society more just” and more humane”.
(Vatican News Network) Pope Francis met with officers and soldiers of the Italian Carabinieri Corps gathered in St. Peter’s Square on September 16 to pay tribute to them. These military police officers commemorated the 80th anniversary of the death of their deputy captain, Salvo D’Acquisto, who was awarded the Military Gold Medal of Courage. Dalquisto was killed by the Germans on September 23, 1943 “in order to rescue innocent hostages captured by the Nazi troops” and dedicated his life.
The Pope stated that it is useful to commemorate your “colleague”, not for an “ineffective commemoration”, but for “today to reaffirm the commitment in the army to serve good and truth, and to serve society.” Salvo D’Aquisto’s testimony is “an exhortation of great practical significance” today and “a message full of the power of love.”
“As we live in an age tainted by individualism and intolerance of others, and see the many forms of violence and hatred festering in our cities, his testimony sends a message of the power of love. You invest every day in the fight for justice. and the work of legal services, how necessary it is to abide by the law today! I want to say to you, all of this finds its reason and ultimate purpose in love. In fact, justice does not simply impose punishment on the person who made the mistake, but the original Save people with respect and public welfare.”
The Pope pointed out that the gendarme has a great mission, which is to make “our society more just and more humane”. “Therefore,” the Pope said, “you must be passionate people, like Salvo da Quisto; you must be servants of the state and the common good, fighting injustice, protecting the weakest, and protecting our cities. It is wonderful to provide a sense of protection. The love that Italians have for you proves that these are not just words but, through the example of so many of you, they are a reality!”
Sacrifice, duty, discipline and dedication are the hallmarks of military police officers who “live in difficult circumstances”. They must “fight all kinds of illegality, fight organized crime, fight the sometimes deep-rooted sense of impunity, and fight the mafia mentality,” the pope continued. The Pope thanked the gendarmes who carry out investigative missions because they “expose lies” and those who carry out missions “in conflict zones and in international contexts” who lend a helping hand to local people and thus become craftsmen of peace. The pope also thanked all the gendarmes on duty who “serve on the streets of our cities and in the corners of our communities.”
The Pope concluded by encouraging Italy’s carabinieri: “Never lose courage, do not fall into the temptation to think that evil is stronger, that bad things have no end, and that your efforts are useless. Be like Salvo D’Aquisto and be inspired by Inspired by the passion for kindness. You must continue to be close to the people, who have always recognized this excellent trait of yours.”
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