Padre Daniele Badiali

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The Last Days

On 10 March 1997 he starts to prepare 500 children to their First Communion in his parish in San Luis. He spends all his day with them in the church, praying and singing, telling them about Jesus’ life and playing with them in the leisure time. The preparation would last two weeks until Holy Thursday, the day when every child would receive Jesus in their hearts. Father Daniele is very concerned about conveying the children the idea of a good father. He suffers when he sees they are not attentive and devoted. He fears about their souls and about his own. He would like to leave a deep mark on his children to make them fall in love with Jesus. He fervently prays to Mary, Mary with the long mantle, where to find shelter and consolation… He has recently written one of his most beautiful songs: “Mami de Dios, mami perdon, ten compasion…”

Father Daniele looks forward to Father Ugo’s and Father Giorgio’s return from Italy: for months he has been performing a role he feels inadequate to. He wants to step aside. 

“I feel unable to abandon myself, to let God lead everything: even if I think I’m risking it all, I find myself still betting in favour of God. Being useless servants really means calling the master, leaving everything in his hands, refusing to control anything. Being Jesus’ servants really means invoking him with his own weapons: goodness, forgiveness, abandonment, patience, a smile,…. death”. 

On 16 March, after celebrating Sunday mass in San Luis and Pomallucay, he goes to Yauya, for the evening celebration. On the way back, with six more people on the jeep, around 10 p.m., he suddenly finds the road blocked by stones. Daniele immediately realizes it’s something serious. An armed bandit appears, looking for an Italian to take as a hostage. Rosamaria gets out. Father Daniele immediately comes forward, moving her away and saying: 

“I’ll go. You stay”.

He has already read the note the bandit gave him with a ransom demand expiring on 25th March, the day Father Ugo would come back from Italy. Father Daniele is taken away, while the bandit threatens all the other passengers with two shots and urges the jeep driver to leave.

Padre Daniele

On 18 March Daniele’s body is found in Acorma, a place not far from San Luis, on a stony slope, wrapped in a piece of blue nylon cloth, with his hands tied behind his back, killed with a gunshot in the nape of the neck.

All night long the population and the MGO volunteers hold a wake over Father Daniele’s body at Acorma, around the stones stained with his blood. He is accompanied in prayer from San Luis to Chacas and as far as Lima.

On 23rd March his body is carried back to Italy where a wake is held all night long and the following morning. On 24th March, in the afternoon, the funeral rite is celebrated in Faenza cathedral in front of a huge crowd. His body is buried in his family vault in the cemetery of Ronco di Faenza.