Leo Aletti (I learned his name was Leandro when he showed me a guarantee notice or something like that), who died on the feast of the Assumption, I don’t think he’s really dead, not even in his body.
I allow myself this apparently absurd exercise, being aware that his remains lie breathless, not for the sake of paradox, but because if there is one who would absolutely not believe it possible that Jesus – the Lord of his life, risen with his body who could be touched, and “ascended to the right hand of the Father” – could accept that his Mother was not next to him in Heaven, not as a soul and nothing more, but precisely with her body in the full beauty of the Virgin Mother, with her womb and not in a manner of speaking; here if there was one in the world it was him, Leo Aletti, having a foreboding and then hearing from Don Luigi Giussani. The servant of God preferred his naive yet cultured impetuosity in life: Leo was one who was not ashamed of Jesus Christ, and not even to take the 22-week-old fetus out of the bin, thrown there like mangled flesh, but still breathing, was a man-child. Leandro asked for water and baptized it with the name of Leandro.
A story that really happened, they hadn’t managed to kill the child, but he was destined to die shortly thereafter. But he used the piety of Christ, the same one that gives the title of Michelangelo’s sculpture “Pietà” where Mary welcomes the corpse of her Son in her arms, and so she placed “the little creature in a warm cradle, which was quenched at intervals with water drops. I went back to work and at 6 pm I received a phone call: little Leandro was dead. One more saint in Paradise ”. She told about it in her book Meat, bones, muscles and tendons. In defense of nascent life (Gribaudi). Our body, even when it is undone, is a temple of the Holy Spirit; he was immersed in the waters of baptism, but before, and it applies to everyone, just like Jesus, he was immersed (baptism means immersion), in the maternal waters. Impossible for Aletti not to see in those bundles Jesus-fetus that God-made-man was already stirring in the womb of his very young mother even then.
The bodies are destined for resurrection, flesh, bones, muscles, tendons. Our Lady was Assumed into Heaven because Heaven was in her womb, and then She held this Heaven-Christ in every instant of her life, first next to Jesus and then to John (who is us). This is why I say that not only the soul of Leo but even the body has a resurrection moss on him, while he was dying the fullness of bodily salvation was already germinating.
Many connected last night via zoom to the Rosary said for him – and I believe with him – in the residence of the nuns in Via Martinengo, where he had always freely dedicated himself, with his knowledge as a gynecologist, to the poorest women.
The chronicle of Niccolò Magnani he retraced the painful fact of death and the teaching that his testimony gave and still gives. It weighs on me not-being-able-to-hear-his-voice anymore, but in the definition he collected from his children and students there is everything about this magnificent man, gynecologist, defender of the life of others, at the cost of losing his own because he really lost it and not in a manner of speaking: it, as we well know, coincides with reputation in this era. And he had serenely sacrificed her, having his head cut off on the gallows of the national press (= unique thought of nihilism and ephemeral pleasure), accepting to be disfigured with muriatic acid and to be treated as a fanatic, gloomy obscurantist torturer of women, while he was a great doctor and teacher.
Apart from the fact that he wanted to be present at the birth of my first two children, in 1981 and 1984, at the Mangiagalli Clinic, I have known his existence as a martyr, from year to year. As we all know, he became famous for having been the “defensor vitae” at Mangiagalli together with his friend and colleague Luigi Frigerio. He denounced not the law 194, but the abuses that were perpetrated by circumventing even this law, with abortions performed beyond the foreseen terms, and making up the state of health of the child and / or the woman to make what was actually eugenic as therapeutic or “of convenience”. He knew he was going against the system, of drawing lightning on himself, but he couldn’t keep quiet, he didn’t have the right.
I remember in November 1984 that I spent the day with him, waiting in vain for John Paul II in front of the Mangiagalli Clinic. The symbolic place for and against 194. He hoped that the meeting and blessing of the Vicar of Christ on earth could make not only his superiors who practiced it fall off the horse of the ideology of abortion, but the whole world, and that the snake-eyed scales that didn’t see it was murder. He called it just like that, like Pier Paolo Pasolini, and like Norberto Bobbio he believed that “the right of birth cannot be compromised”. Reason is enough, but it too has been aborted. However, he did not act in the name of a principle, but because he loved those “creatures”. He was certainly rough, direct.
This way of living reality, like Joan of Arc, was not at all a way of not meeting or not talking to those who were instead advocates and practitioners of abortions, atheists, agnostics or “otherwise believers”. It was behind those doors that what Vatican II called an “abominable crime” was committed; what are you doing, smile, shut up? There is a misunderstanding that has invested many Christians: that of believing that “disarmed beauty” means avoiding “wielding” the truth, and many in front of its sheer vehemence – Don Quixote with a spear but without armor – changed their judgment , not for its dialectic and its arguments, although valid, perhaps for emotion and attraction. Judgments changed because Aletti shot arrows to the heart. It is not that attractiveness and mildness coincide with Valium. Joan of Arc was actually unarmed and beautiful when she was burned at the stake. Love is fearless, as Cardinal Federigo said to Don Abbondio.
This I would like his martyrdom to teach us, because a martyr, as Hans Urs von Balthasar said and wrote, is “he who pours out his life”, by loving. Gladly.
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