Pope Francis wrote in the book preface that Livatino was “a bright point of reference for the men and women of today and tomorrow, especially for young people who, even today, are enticed by the sirens of the mafia to a life of violence, corruption, oppression and death.”
“His martyrial testimony of faith and justice is a seed of concord and social peace, and an emblem of the need to feel and be brothers and sisters, and not rivals or enemies,” he said.
Livatino will be beatified in the Archdiocese of Agrigento, Sicily, on May 9.
After a controversy erupted earlier this year over the translation of Livatino’s relics from his hometown to the Cathedral of Agrigento, it was announced Feb. 19 that the martyred judge’s body would remain in the town of Canicattì, about 25 miles northeast of Agrigento.
Livatino is buried in the chapel of the Canicattì cemetery, a town of about 35,000 people and his birthplace.
Pope Francis quoted his predecessor, St. John Paul II, who visited Agrigento and other places in Sicily in 1993.
At the end of Mass said in the Valley of the Temples, John Paul II said, “Let there be concord in this land of yours! May there be harmony without death, without murder, without fear, without threats, without victims! Let there be concord!”
“After so many times of suffering you finally have a right to live in peace,” John Paul II continued. “And those who are guilty of disturbing this peace, those who carry on their consciences so many human victims, they must understand, they must understand that innocent killing is not allowed!”
Pope Francis wrote: “The sweet aroma of Christ that spreads from the martyred body of the young judge then becomes a seed of rebirth -- as has already happened for some of his killers and principals, today on the path of penance and conversion -- for all of us…”
“To Rosario Angelo Livatino, today also through his beatification, we give thanks for the example he leaves us, for having fought every day the good fight of faith with humility, meekness and mercy.”
Livatino did everything “always and only in the name of Christ, without ever abandoning faith and justice, even in the imminent risk of death,” he said. “This is the seed that was planted, this is the fruit that will come.”
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