Declared Venerable: 09-10-2013
Attilio Giordani was born in Milan on 3 February 1913. His father Arturo worked in the railways, and his mother Amalia was bedridden following the birth of one of her children. Attilio was a bright and dynamic boy. After elementary school he attended three years of technical schooling. As a boy he discovered Don Bosco and the Salesian oratory in Milan, of which he would always be very fond.
He received his early formation there and, as a young man interested in the young, he constantly committed himself to joyful leadership of the oratory groups: for decades he was a diligent catechist and a brilliant, simple and serene Salesian youth leader. As a good Salesian Cooperator he was able to use all the educational tools of the Preventive System to encourage his boys: concern for the liturgy, formation, presence and recreation in the yard, promotion of free time, theatre. Attilio organised walks with the oratory youth, composed songs, sketches, set up charity lotteries, parish treasure hunts and children's Olympics, without ever forgetting the core of Christian joy: love of God and neighbour.
Love the Lord with all your heart and find in the sacramental life, in prayer and in spiritual direction the resources for a life of grace. He began his military service in 1934 ending it, eventually, in 1945. He showed an apostolic sense among his fellow soldiers. He found employment in the Pirelli industry in Milan, where he also spread joy and good humour, with a great sense of duty. After the war he married Naomi Davanzo, who would be by his side and a support to him throughout his life.
To restore hope to children upset by the war, he began a "Crusade of Goodness", which would spread throughout Italy. As husband he was always there for his family, rich in faith and serenity, but also practised evangelical poverty for the benefit of the most needy.
Every day Attilio was faithful to meditation, Eucharist, the Rosary. His three sons left for Brazil for a period of missionary volunteering. In agreement with Noemi he likewise decided they should go together as a husband and wife team, to fully share his fatherliness and his own son's vocation to volunteering. He continued to be a catechist and leader in Brazil. On 18 December 1972, in Campo Grande, during a meeting, he was addressing the group enthusiastically about the duty to give one's life for others when he suddenly began to feel faint.
He barely had time to say to his son: "Pier Giorgio, now you continue ...", and died of a heart attack. His body, transported to Italy, now rests in the Basilica of Saint Augustine in Milan. In his homily the parish priest said: "Attilio is telling us the same that he told his son: 'You continue!'"
We thank you, Holy Father,
for the gifts given to your faithful servant ATTILIO GIORDANI,
family man, Salesian Cooperator,
catechist and leader at the Oratory, teacherof holiness.
Give us the joy of seeing him glorified
as the protector and model of our families
and of the apostolate among the young.
Through his intercession, grant us the grace
we ask of you with a confident heart.
Approved by the Curia, Archdiocese of Milan, 17-11-1994
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