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Pope to make pilgrimage to pray at priests’ tombs

April 25, 2017

On June 20, Pope Francis will make a pilgrimage to Bozzolo to pray at the tomb of Father Primo Mazzolari, and to Barbiana to pray at the tomb of Father Lorenzo Milani.

A parish priest in the small town of Bozzolo, Father Mazzolari (1890-1959) was a scholar who wrote about St. Francis and Blessed John Henry Newman, opposed the Mussolini regime, and emphasized the importance of the poor. Sanctioned for a time by diocesan authorities, Father Mazzolari was a friend of Pope John XXIII and praised by the future Pope Paul VI.

Father Lorenzo Milani (1923-67), who converted to Catholicism at 20, was also a parish priest in a small village, where he emphasized the education of the poor. He objected to a stratified educational system in which the poor had few opportunities, and he defended the right of conscientious objection to military service.

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