Rorate Caeli

This is real priestly courage

In these days, in which leaking letters and being "rebellious" are considered by some as acts of "courage", it is quite heartening to see things in perspective. From Italian news agency ANSA:

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.


  1. "His disciples remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for thy house will consume me.'" (John 2:17)

  2. Novus Ordo Watch10:32 PM

    No word on whether the Novus Ordo was perpetrated here. Was it?

  3. Certainly. It was still a Catholic building, and this was a Catholic priest.

  4. for Father Ivan Martini


    Every Sacrament
    I could...
    Immersed my soul
    In graces good.

    Every penance
    That I uttered
    In fear and trepidation

    Every child
    I birthed in pain
    I offered Him
    So souls would gain.

    And now my soul
    In night won't cease
    For you my prayers...
    De Profundis.

  5. I am sure that his wanting to rescue a statue of The Virgin was of great merit to him. The fact that he was the only one in the whole town to die seems to me to also indicate that a son of Mary was being called home. Were this priest my son, brother or nephew, I would be taking great comfort in such thoughts. I would like to learn more about Father Martini. Was he especially pious? Maybe he had been praying to offer suffrage as atonement for so many outrages. There just seems to be a story here and it may just be a beautiful one.

    May God rest this priest's soul and comfort his loved ones and his parishioners.

  6. And I wonder about the statue. Was he able to reach it?

  7. Melchior Cano11:20 PM

    Novus Ordo Watch,

    Is it really a wonder to you that your kind are no taken seriously by the majority of Catholics? A priest dies inside of a Catholic Church and the first thought you vomit forth into the combox is: Was the Novus Ordo perpetrated there? As the intro the post says, get some perspective.

  8. Nothing lyrical, profound or snide to say from me Rest in Peace, Father.

  9. May God grant rest for his soul! And for all the souls of the faithfully departed! Amen!

  10. Amen Peter, "Zelus domus tuae commedit me." I know that as the first antiphon of Tenebrae for Holy Thursday. How very apt it is here.

    God rest this zealous priest. Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiecat in pace.

  11. Joseph1:32 AM

    'Novus Ordo Watch',

    Your comment is an embarrassment to all who attend the Traditional Mass.

  12. Not condoning the misplaced focus on the NO, but one might forgive a traditionalist for asking.

    We remember the earthquake that demolished the Franciscan parish in Assisi 7 years after the altar there was desecrated by the placing of a Buddha during Assisi 1.

    St Francis preached "Lord, help me to seek to understand more than I seek to be understood" and perhaps NO Watch, as just another victim in this age of commonplace sacrilege on our altars, was simply curious to know if there might a divine message in this.

    Meanwhile, of course, the brethren are right to focus without judgment, on a Catholic priest who sacrificed his life as it were for the Blessed Virgin's honour.

    May he rest in peace.

  13. In my stronger days I was a firefighter. The things that my eyes could tell you are horrible indeed. I have done CPR on a mother in front of her 16 year old daughter only to have the father show up, while I was unable to save the mother.

    But here's a good song for those of us involved in law enforcement, the military or EMT work!

    Most can agree, we walk through some days with tears in our eyes.

  14. Barbara5:06 AM

    MKT said:

    "if there might a divine message in this."

    Oh I am sure of it - but I dare not be so presumptuous as to voice my interpretation of it.The zone is not particularly prone to earthquakes - the last one was centuries we have been told.

    RIP Father Martini!

    (I beleive the statue of Our Lady was saved...)

  15. Gratias6:40 AM

    This case seems right out of the novel "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follet (recommended reading). Requiescat in pace frate.

  16. Sceptic10:07 AM

    It is a great shame that you could not report this sad death without making snide remarks about the opponents of SSPX 'regularisation'.

    As far as the story itself is concerned was it really prudent for the priest to risk his life to save a statue?

    May he rest in peace.

  17. Who said this was about the SSPX, Father "Skeptico"?... Some people are quite self-centered...

  18. A priest dies and some only respond with "snide" remarks, thinking they are the one who reside on the perch of holiness,lest they forget God aka Jesus has no use for snide remarks, they are best left to the darkness that that rose from.

  19. A most inspiring story I cannot do better than to repeat the prayer offered by CJ May God rest this priest's soul and comfort his loved ones and his parishioners.

    And to Long-Skirts - once again your insight and you amazing ability to express the same with such grace and beauty brings me to the verge of tears.


  20. Lee Lovelock-Jemmott3:28 PM

    May he Rest in Peace and rise in glory with Our Lord. He surely has done his good deed for The Lord's Kingdom !

  21. Lee Lovelock-Jemmott3:34 PM

    Novus Ordo Watch

    "Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye?
    "Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." Matthew 7:4-5. Dwell,ponder then pray and realise how asinine that comment was !

  22. J.G. Ratkaj6:29 PM

    True and sincere Pastors like Don Ivan are today more needed than ever. We will specially include him in our prayers at today's evening mass.

    O Lord, Give him eternal rest.

  23. For a manifestly good Catholic priest to be criticised most foully after his heroic sacrifice makes me tremble with rage and degust.

    But we are enjoined to suffer and to forgive these people.

    When will people rememebr Christian charity ?


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