On Sunday, November 14, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua will commemorate the Venerable Friar Placido CORTESE. Friar Placido had once been a member of the Basilica community in Padua and served as Director of the Messaggero di Sant’Antonio Magazine. During the Second World War, Friar Placido got in contact with supporters of the Resistance. Working with worthy collaborators, both men and women, he succeeded in rescuing hundreds of people who were being persecuted by the Nazi-fascist regime. In particular, Friar Placido helped save Slovenian and Croatian prisoners who had been deported to concentration camps in Italy. He also rescued Jews and disbanded allied soldiers.
Friar Placido was declared Venerable on August 30, 2021, when the Decree of the Heroicity of Virtue was promulgated. This year’s mid-November commemoration of Friar Placido’s death is meant to be a warm tribute to him.
Friar Placido was born in 1907, in Cres, now in Croatia. His unwavering commitment led to extreme consequences. He was captured by the Nazis in Trieste, Italy, and was brutally tortured. The Gestapo finally killed him in November of 1944, after failing to break his heroic silence.
The commemorative event for Friar Placido will also pay tribute to Maria Cristina CELLA MOCELLIN, the mother of a family who was declared Venerable on August 30, 2021, by Pope Francis. Family members of both Friar Placido and Maria Cristina will attend the tribute.
Both figures are examples of “lives given” to save others. They are being jointly commemorated because both of their causes are connected, albeit in different ways, to the Diocese of Padua. This is significant for the local Church and for the Basilica community of the Friars Minor Conventual.
The Vicar General of the Diocese of Padua, Father Giuliano ZATTI, will preside over the commemorative Mass, scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, November 14, 2021, in the Pontifical Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua.
Father ZATTI, and the other concelebrants present, will stand before the Basilica’s memorial display dedicated to Venerable Placido CORTESE for a moment of prayer and will ask for his glorification. Now that the Church has pronounced its authoritative judgment on the heroicity of virtue practiced by Friar Placido, it is expected that many will raise fervent prayers to God to obtain graces through the Venerable’s intercession, in the hope that he may soon be beatified.
Press Office – Messaggero di Sant’Antonio Publishing