A country priest's only possession is his church. It does not matter if it is not a part of the history of architecture, if it does not include major masterpieces. Every statue, every piece, is, as it were, a part of town. Father Ivan Martini, 65, for nine years parish priest in Rovereto, one of the towns of the lowlands of Modena most affected by [today's] earthquake, died this morning in his collapsed church. ...Don Ivan loved his church, and all that was inside it. The parish church of Santa Caterina had been damaged and had been condemned following the previous earthquake, but a search was needed in order to remove some objects that had been left inside. Therefore, this morning, joined by two firemen, he entered the church to try to salvage some statues, in particular one of the Virgin of which many of his parishioners were especially fond. This is where the strong quake found him. Don Ivan was hit by the fall of a stone or of a beam, and he could not escape. The two firemen who were with him were unharmed and were able to return to safety. Rovereto, then, in the midst of so many structural damages, cries for its only victim, its parish priest, loved by the town.
May he rest in peace.