An Italian priest was posthumously awarded with a top honor for protecting a Jewish family from Nazi persecution in World War II.
Father Martino Michelone, who died in 1979, was declared “Righteous Among Nations” by Jewish leaders on May 8 for hiding four members of a family for nearly two years.
Fr. Machelone sheltered a young boy named Luciano Segre – as well as Segre's father, mother and aunt – between 1943 and 1945 in the town of Moransengo in northwest Italy.
The “Righteous Among the Nations” recognition honors those who helped save Jews during the Holocaust.
According to Canadian paper The Edmonton Journal, the priest once went into hiding himself during the war to escape a patrol on the move.
Israel's ambassador to Italy Ghideon Meir gave the medal for the award to Fr. Michelone's surviving relatives at a ceremony Sunday in Moransengo.
Luciano Segre, who was a child at the time of the war, went on to become a leading financier. Fr. Michelone often hid Segre's identity by having him dress as an altar boy and accompany him to bless people's homes.