I recently viewed a film my mother had obtained on the Assisi Underground about priests who rescued Jews in the town of Assisi, Italy, during World War II. Father Rufino Niccacci was portrayed by actor Ben Cross, known for his role of Harold Abrahams in Chariots of Fire.
It was a powerful story and even more powerful because it was true. Catholic priests and nuns provided safe harbor for Jewish Italians whose lives were in danger. In doing so, the Catholic clergy risked their own lives. They shared their food and table, their beds and clothing and their prayers. Although they worshipped in different ways, they prayed the same requests for mercy, safety and grace.
Because of the efforts of their fellow Italians, 80 percent of the Jews in that country survived World War II. The opposite was true in the rest of Europe. That was both inspiring and sobering to me.
For the complete article see the 05-23-2014 issue.
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