A Legacy of Blessed Marco d'Aviano: European Unity

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 28, 2003 (Zenit.org).- When beatifying Marco d'Aviano, John Paul II emphasized that Europe's real liberty and unity is based on its spiritual values.



D'Aviano (1631-1699), a priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins, played a key role in the liberation of Vienna from the Turkish siege on Sept. 12, 1683. He also was an adviser to European Christian leaders, in particular Emperor Leopold I of Austria.

"This itinerant contemplative on the roads of Europe was at the center of a widespread spiritual renewal thanks to his courageous preaching accompanied by many prodigies," the Pope said Sunday during the homily delivered at the beatification ceremony.

"Unarmed prophet of divine mercy, he was impelled by circumstances to commit himself actively to defend the freedom and unity of Christian Europe," the Holy Father added.

"Blessed Marco d'Aviano reminds the European continent, which opens in these years to new prospects of cooperation, that its unity will be firmer if it is based on common Christian roots," he said.

Italian media recalled an anecdote that helped make d'Aviano famous.

To him is owed the practice, introduced in Vienna, of softening the bitter taste of Eastern coffee with milk. Hence, the beverage was named after his religious order: cappuccino.