Sabato 22 Settembre 2018 | 16:53

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Puglisi tributes on eve 25th anniversary mafia slaying

Square named in his honor, president calls him 'civilian martyr'

Puglisi tributes on eve 25th anniversary mafia slaying

(ANSA) - Palermo, September 14 - A square was renamed in honor of Father Pino Puglisi on Friday, on the eve of the 25th anniversary of his murder by the mafia. The Palermo square previously known as Piazzale Anita Garibaldi will from now on bear his name. The square was where the priest's home was as well as where he was killed on September 15, 1993 on his 56th birthday Italian President Sergio Mattarella said in a statement that "the Republic recognizes in Puglisi a civilian martyr who died for values of solidarity, justice, equality, and respect for the inviolable rights of the human, which constitutes the vital core of the Republican Constitution and the engine for our social model. He added that "there is no going back from what he left us. It is a shared commitment that involves all the Republican institutions and, at the same time, every citizen and member of society." For the anniversary of his death, Italian prime minister visited the Father Pino Puglisi School in Palermo and told them the priest was "a grain that gave a copious harvest, we could say". He added that "today there is a mafia that is ever more finance-oriented. It seeks money, runs after money and develops in a chameleon-like manner, becoming less noticeable. The state will have ever more problems (to fight the mafia, Ed.) and it must never let down its guard." "However," he said, "the best way to fight is it like this", at schools, since in this way "the mafia sees its development strategies undermined. Its lifeblood is lessened". The head of the Chamber of Deputies justice committee, Giulia Sarti, added that "he was an independent, courageous man to whom democratic Italy owes a great deal. His work as an educator, his bravery and his open challenge to the Brancaccio mafia bosses - from whom he wanted to take their young 'workforce' - bear witness to a civil act of boundless value." Pope Francis will remember Puglisi during a weekend trip to Sicily, his second to the island since 2013 when he travelled on to the migrant stepping-stone island of Lampedusa. The pontiff is expected to issue another ringing condemnation of the mafia.

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