John Paul II Foundation / Magazine / Article / April 25: Bishop Luciano Giovannetti remembers the 1944 massacre in Civitella

April 25: Bishop Luciano Giovannetti remembers the 1944 Massacre in Civitella

Today, April 25, on the occasion of Italian Liberation Day, Civitella in Val di Chiana hosts a solemn commemoration, at which Bishop Luciano Giovannetti, Honorary President of the John Paul II Foundation, is present as a witness and survivor of the horror of June 29, 1944. This event commemorates 80 years since the massacre, when Nazi-Fascist troops carried out a massacre that deeply marked the history of the community.

Bishop Luciano, who lived through the horror of those days as a child, has returned to his hometown to honor the memory of the victims and witness the community's determination to pursue peace and reconciliation. Alongside him, two other survivors of the massacre will join the commemoration, along with President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella.

Luciano Giovannetti's personal story is intertwined with the dramatic events of Civitella. Born in the small Tuscan village, Luciano experienced at first hand the horror of the massacre when he was only 10 years old. Together with his mother, he hid in the woods while Nazi troops carried out atrocities in his hometown. It was during those moments of terror that Luciano felt the vocation to the priesthood born in him, driven by the sacrifice of his parish priest, Don Alcide Lazzeri, who gave his life to protect his parishioners.

After the years marked by tragedy, Luciano dedicated his life to advancing a message of peace and hope. In 1997, he founded the John Paul II Foundation with the goal of supporting the needs of the most vulnerable, thus embodying the values of solidarity and brotherhood that emerged from his personal experience.


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