Blessed Rosario Livatino. / Credit: Episcopal Conference of Sicily
CNA Newsroom, Jan 19, 2023 / 16:00 pm (CNA).
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin highlighted the importance of legality and justice and cited the exemplary witness of Blessed Rosario Livatino, a judge who was murdered by the Italian Mafia.
The cardinal made his remarks at a conference held Jan. 18 in the Italian Senate on the continued relevance of the life of Blessed Rosario Livatino.
Parolin noted that Livatino is “a marvelous figure” because “he was an integral Christian who knew how to fully live his faith in the exercise of a particularly delicate profession such as that of the judiciary, conforming his interpretation and application of justice to Christian principles.”
Referring to the assassination of Livatino at age 38, Parolin said that his life “was not in vain,” because “every gesture of generosity, every act of love, every offering of one’s life, every sacrifice made in the name of the Lord is always rewarded and bears fruit.”
The cardinal said that this Italian Blessed can be a model for judges, since he knew how to unite justice and charity by placing “the person at the center.”
Justice is “also an effort made by the state and the community to be able to rehabilitate” all those who have joined the ranks “of delinquency and criminality,” Parolin observed.
Rosario Angelo Livatino was born Oct. 3, 1952, in the town of Canicattì on the island of Sicily. He decided to follow the same career as his father and entered the School of Jurisprudence in Palermo. He finished his law studies with top grades at the age of 22.
On Aug. 21, 1989, he was appointed judge of the prevention section of the Agrigento provincial court. In that position, he was in charge of several proceedings against members of the Mafia sentenced to life imprisonment.
On Sept. 21, 1990, Livatino was intercepted by four individuals while he was driving his car. In the midst of the shooting, he managed to get out of the car and tried to run. Badly wounded, he got to the side of the road and one of the assassins approached to finish him off. The man who finally ended the judge’s life was Gaetano Puzzangaro, who provided one of the testimonies for the jurist’s cause for beatification.
After Livatino’s death, a Bible full of notes was found on his desk, where he always kept a crucifix.
In December 2020, Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of Rosario Angelo Livatino, and he was beatified on May 9, 2021, in the Sicilian city of Agrigento.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.