Pope Francis Wednesday led a moment of silent prayer for Fr. Roberto Malgesini, a 51-year-old priest who was stabbed to death in Como, Italy, Sept. 15.
“I join in the pain and prayers of his family members and the Como community and, as his bishop said, I praise God for the witness, that is, for the martyrdom, of this witness of charity towards the poorest,” Pope Francis said at the general audience Sept. 16.
Fr. Malgesini was known for his care for the homeless and migrants in the northern Italian diocese. He was killed Tuesday near his parish, St. Rocco’s Church, by one of the migrants he helped.
Speaking to pilgrims in the Vatican’s San Damaso Courtyard, the pope noted that Fr. Malgesini was killed “by a person in need whom he himself helped, a person with a mental illness.”
Pausing for a moment of silent prayer, he asked those present to pray for Fr. Roberto and for “all the priests, sisters, lay people who work with people in need and rejected by society.”
May his soul rest in peace!