Two hundred white balloons were released into the sky, amidst tears and applauses, by his friends, marking the end the funeral of Willy Monteiro, the young Italian man of Capeverdan descent brutally killed at the age of 21, during a fight, to protect a friend.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte embraced Willy’s mother and father, Lucia and Armando and his sister Milena. “Now we expect harsh and certain sentences”.
The bishop’s homily
“Willy sacrificed himself on the cross like a young Christ. For the love of friendship. This must be an example for those who live in the cult of force and violence.”
This was the central message of the homily delivered by Monsignor Mauro Parmeggiani, bishop of Tivoli and Palestrina, who chose the gospel of Beatitudes to remember the young man.
“An execrable fact that this morning sees us gathered together and for which our heart is deeply shaken and struck”, continued the bishop. The young man had “a passion for sport but without fanaticism, with respect for others and commitment to them that, far from those attitudes of indifference oft times assumed by those who call themselves adults, led Willy in the night between last Saturday and Sunday to intervene in favour of a friend to quell a row and lose his life in that exceptional way that Jesus taught us in the Gospel: ‘There is no greater love than this, giving one’s life for friends’. [Continues after the picture]
“Jesus, he said again, “did not free us with the strength of his muscles but by giving his life on the cross out of love and ensuring to all those who as Willy try to practice his Gospel, eternal life”.
The bishop stressed above all the need to engage ourselves so that the death of an innocent does not fall on deaf ears.
“In order for Willy’s barbaric and unjust death not to fall into oblivion, let us all commit ourselves, institutions, police forces, men and women of politics, school, sports and leisure, the Church, families and all those who hold the keys to an enormous power, that of the media and in particular of digital media, to engage together, beyond any personal interest and without turning our gaze elsewhere, pretending not to see, and reconnect an educational pact at 360 degrees “.