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LUIGI AND MARIA BELTRAME QUATTROCCHI

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LUIGI AND MARIA BELTRAME QUATTROCCHI

LUIGI AND MARIA BELTRAME QUATTROCCHI

Luigi Beltrame was born on January 12, 1880, in Catania. He spent the first years of his life with his parents and three brothers, but in 1889 he went to live with Luigi and Stefania Quattrocchi, uncle from the maternal side, who had no children and requested their custody. He moved with them to Rome, where he graduated in Law in 1902.

In the Eternal City, Luigi meets Maria Corsini, born in Florence on June 24, 1884, and then moved with her family due to her father's work. The two young men became engaged at the beginning of 1905 and, after eight months, they got married: it was November 25th and the wedding was celebrated in the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.

The following year their first son, Filippo, was born; in 1908 came Stefania, known as Fanny; and in 1909 Cesare. In 1913, the joy of the arrival of another child soon turned into concern: the doctors suggested to Maria that the pregnancy be terminated for serious health reasons, since both the mother's life and that of the baby were considered at risk. But the couple, who had always been animated by a great faith, decided to entrust themselves to the Lord. Thus, on 6th April, Enrichetta was born, perfectly healthy.

During the First World War, the couple Beltrame Quattrocchi did their best to assist the wounded and families in difficulty. Even at the end of the conflict their commitment continues: from 1917 they were Franciscan tertiaries, but they also worked in the ASCI (Italian Scouting Association), they worked as stretcher bearers with Unitalsi together with Enrichetta, and founded an oratory in the Esquilino. While pursuing a brilliant career as attorney general of the state, Luigi finds time to collaborate in the birth of the Orbis Agency, to work in the Christian Renaissance Movement and in the Movement for a Better World. Maria writes books and meanwhile is also a catechist, a national councillor of Catholic Action, organizes marriage preparation courses for engaged couples, an absolute novelty for the time.

Their children grew up in the faith handed down to them by their parents. Filippo became a Benedictine monk with the name of Don Tarcisio; Fanny entered the Benedictine Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament in Milan and took the name of Sister Cecilia; Cesare became a Trappist monk and called himself Father Paolino. The youngest daughter Enrichetta instead assisted her parents until the end, and spent her life in prayer and service.

Luigi and Maria attend Mass every day. In addition to the associative commitments, they actually started the family pastoral work in Rome, with meetings and accompaniment for engaged and married couples; they financially supported young people who wish to become priests or communities of nuns in financial difficulty. Their house is a meeting point for many prominent figures of the Catholic and political world of that time, such as Father Agostino Gemelli, Armida Barelli, Don Luigi Sturzo.

On November 9, 1951 Luigi died of a heart attack. Mary remained alive for another fourteen years, during which she continued on the spiritual and service path undertaken with her husband. She died on 25 August 1965; at her side always, her daughter Enrichetta.

They were beatified by Saint John Paul II on 21 October 2001. They are the first beatified spouses in the history of the Church.

LUIGI AND MARIA BELTRAME QUATTROCCHI

1. In 1889 Louis moved to Rome

2. In 1905 he married Maria Corsini in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

3. In 1917, together with Enrichetta, they founded an oratory on the Esquiline Hill