New book tells story of young Italian police officer who saved five thousand Jews

On April 1, the Pontifical Lateran University presented the book, “Capuozzo, Indulge this Child: The Life of Giovanni Palatucci,” published by Saint Paul Editions. The new book tells the life of the heroic Italian police officer who saved five thousand Jews during World War II.

Written by Angelo Picariello, the book was presented by Msgr. Rino Fisichella, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, who told the Fides news agency of his joy at learning about a man who “not only is on his way to sainthood, but also who was someone with an incredible sense of duty towards his country.”

Italy’s Chief of Police, Dr. Antonio Manganelli, shared his own experience of learning about the life of Patalucci some twenty years ago after reading the biography by Goffredo Raimo.

Normally, he said, we expect the actions of a hero to happen outside the context of ordinary life, but in the case of Patalucci, his heroism lasted seven years, “thus leaving a clear message to share with others,” Manganelli said.

Senator Giulio Andreotti, also present for the ceremony, said he hoped the story of Patalucci, which is relatively unknown, will soon be embraced and cherished by many.

His life

Giovanni Palatucci was born in Montella, Italy on May 31, 1909.  A devout Catholic, he graduated from law school at the University of Turin in 1932.  He left medical school to become a policeman.  When World War II broke out, Palatucci was in charge of the office of exterior affairs for the Italian region of Fiume. In his capacity as head of that office, he destroyed the records of some five thousand Jews and provided them with false documents.  He sent them to an internment camp in southern Italy under the protection of his uncle, Bishop Giuseppe Maria Palatucci of Campagna.

During the German occupation, he became chief of police in Fiume and continued helping Jews until he was discovered by the Gestapo.  He was arrested in September of 1944.  At first he was condemned to death but a few weeks later his sentence was changed and he was sent to the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau. Palatucci died in Dachau on February 10, 1945 at the age of 36. 

In 2002 his cause for beatification was opened.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: