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Pope calls Blessed Rosario Livatino a 'martyr of justice'
Reliquary containing the bloodied shirt of Blessed Rosario Livatino09 May 2021. Pope Francis holds up the heroic example of Blessed Rosario Livatino, an Italian judge murdered by the mafia, and urged judges to learn from his efforts to promote redemption through justice.

By Devin Watkins

Pope Francis recalled the life and martyrdom of Rosario Angelo Livatino, who was beatified on the Italian island of Sicily on Sunday.

Speaking after the Regina Coeli prayer on Sunday, the Pope said the Sicilian magistrate was “a martyr of justice and faith.”

“In his service to the common good, as an exemplary judge who never succumbed to corruption, he sought to judge not to condemn but to redeem,” said the Pope. “His work placed him firmly under the protection of God. For this reason, he became a witness to the Gospel even unto a heroic death.”

Pope Francis urged everyone, especially magistrates, to look to Blessed Rosario Livatino’s example and to learn from him how to be “faithful defenders of the rule of law and of freedom.”

Killed for his faith, justice

Blessed Rosario was an Italian judge who was killed in 1990 by hired gunmen under orders from the heads of the Sicilian organized crime groups Stidda and Cosa Nostra.

His beatification took place in the Cathedral of Agrigento, and was presided over by Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Killed for his faith, justice

Blessed Rosario was an Italian judge who was killed in 1990 by hired gunmen under orders from the heads of the Sicilian organized crime groups Stidda and Cosa Nostra.

His beatification took place in the Cathedral of Agrigento, and was presided over by Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Excommunication for the mafia

On the same day as his beatification, the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development announced it has set up a “working group” dedicated to “excommunications of mafia members.”

A press release (in Italian) noted that Blessed Rosario Livatino is the first judge to be beatified in the history of the Church, saying he “courageously carried out his profession as a form of lay mission.”

The working group will seek to study the theme of excommunication of mafia members, work with Bishops around the world, and promote various initiatives in this field.

The team is made up of Vittorio V. Alberti, Rosy Bindi, Luigi Ciotti, Marcello Cozzi, Raffaele Grimaldi, Michele Pennisi, Giuseppe Pignatone, and Ioan Alexandru Pop.

Further information can be found by writing to: nocorruption@humandevelopment.va or info@humandevelopment.va