LAYMAN (SEPTEMBER 5, 2004)
“EITHER LIVE BY MOVING FORWARD OR DIE”
Alberto Marvelli was born in Ferrari on March 21, 1918, the second of seven brothers. When he moved to Rimini with the family he began to attend the Salesian Oratory there. He was always available and became a catechist and leader: the Salesians’ right arm. He loved to play all kinds of sports. As models he took St. Dominic Savio and Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. At 17 years of age he wrote his project of life in his diary; it would renew his life.
He joined the Oratory group for Catholic Action soon becoming its parish president. He offered his service to the Church in Rimini as the diocesan vice president of CA. As an engineering student in Bologna, he took an active part in FUCI, remaining faithful to daily Mass.
In June 1942, he graduated and began working with Fiat in Turin. He did his military service in Trieste and succeeded in bringing many of his friends to Mass. During the Second World War he became an apostle among displaced persons and a real source of providence for the poor.
After the Allies arrived in Rimini he was appointed as an alderman in the Town Council in the department responsible for rebuilding, and the engineer in charge of Civil Engineering. “ The poor are on our doorstep,” he said, “the others can wait.”
He agreed to run for the elections as a candidate for the Christian Democrats. He was recognized as a committed Christian by everyone, but was never divisive, so much so that one of his communist opponents said, “I don’t mind if my Party loses. So long as the Engineer Marvelli becomes mayor.”
The Bishop appointed him president of Catholic graduates. His Marian and eucharistic devotion really were the supporting columns in his life. “What a new world opens up to me contemplating Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,” he wrote in his diary. Each time I receive Holy Communion, each time Jesus in His divinity and humanity enters into me, in contact with my soul, it awakens holy ideas in me, a burning and consuming flame, but one that makes me so happy!”
He died when he was hit by an army truck on October 5, 1946. He was, as Don Bosco wanted, a good Christian and an honest citizen, committed to the Church and society with a Salesian heart. As a youth his motto was, “Either live by moving forward or die.”