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Father Gaetano Piccinini was a priest of the Don Orione Congregation, whose life (1904-1972) encompassed the period of the Second World War: he was engaged in his religious activity in Rome and Latium. The best known and now (21 June 2011) officially recognized aspect of his activity has been exhalted by the inscription of his name, posthumously, in the list of the 'Righteous of the World's Nations' at the Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. (Avvenire 2011/7/25; Famiglia Cristiana 2011/6/23); L’Osservatore romano 2011/6/25).
The recognition ceremony has taken place in Rome: jew Bruno Camerini has described how this priest was able to save him, as a boy, his sisters and their mother hosting and hiding them in several religious locations during the nazi roundup in the Ghetto of Rome. "Father Gaetano acted in this way because he was so fulfilling the precept of loving one's neighbour, already written in the Bible". As an hidden boy, he mentally witnessed the departure of the train to Auschwitz on 18 October 1943. And he added that Father Piccinini always respected his Jewish faith.
Also attending was Mordechay Lewy, Ambassador of Israel to the Holy See, who literally said "It would be a mistake to think that the help to the Jews during the war in Rome (in which the work of Father Piccinini is inscribed) came from convents and religious institutions as if it were their own initiative without support from the Vatican".