Son Tells How His Parents Raced Each Other to Sanctity

Memories of Father Paolino Beltrame Quattrocchi

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 21, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Today, for the first time ever, three siblings were present at the beatification of their parents, in St. Peter´s Basilica.



Cesare Beltrame Quattrocchi, 92, who took the name Paolino when he embraced the religious life, is one of them. Here he recalls his parents, Luigi (1880-1951) and Maria (1884-1965).

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Although I never imagined that one day they would be proclaimed saints by the Church, I can sincerely say that I always perceived my parents´ extraordinary spirituality.

There was always a supernatural, serene and happy atmosphere in our home, but not excessively pious. No matter what the issue facing us, they always resolved it by saying that it had to be appealed "to the heavens."

There was a kind of race between father and mother to grow in spirituality. She began in the "pole position," as she already lived an intense faith experience, while he was certainly a good man, just and honest, but not very practicing.

Through their marital life, with the decisive help of his spiritual director, he also began to run, and they both attained high levels of spirituality.

To give an example: Mother would recount how, when they began to go to daily morning Mass, Father would say "good morning" to her as they came out of the church, as if the day only began then. The intensity of their love emerges in the many letters they wrote one another, which we have been able to find and put in order.

For example, when my father would go on a trip to Sicily, no sooner he arrived in Naples he would send a message, in which he told his wife how much he missed her. This love was transmitted as much within -- during their first years of marriage the parents of both of them lived in our apartment, as did her grandparents -- as it was without, by welcoming friends with all kinds of ideas, and helping anyone in need.

Education, which led to the consecration of three of us, was our daily bread. I still have an "Imitation of Christ" that my mother gave me when I was 10 years old. The dedication still stuns me: "Remember that Christ must be followed, if necessary, unto death."