EVEN AT THE BELL OF THE FALLEN AND OF PEACE

Memorandum of Peace 4 October 2006

On 4 October, the day of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Italy and, by definition, the saint of peace, the Bell of the Fallen will remember - as it did last year and will every year to come - the anniversary of the first ringing of Maria Dolens on 4 October 1925. Eighty years ago, Don Antonio Rossaro's prophetic intuition became a reality. The event will take place on Miravalle Hill, at the foot of the Bell, between 11:00 and 12:00; in agreement with the City Council, schools wishing to be present are invited to attend.

Following speeches by the Mayor of Rovereto, Professor Gugliemo Valduga, and the municipal and provincial councillors for education, Dr Manzana and Dr Salvaterra respectively, the 4th year pupils of the Molina di Ledro primary school will present the Canticle of the Sun; the group Danzare la Pace will perform one of their pieces; Enzo Pancheri will read some of the poems from the Children's Conference which takes place at the Bell in early May each year; and the teacher Giampaolo Daicampi will lead the children's choir in songs inspired by peace.

This will be followed by a poem by Maestro Felice Ludovisi, a contemporary artist from Viterbo, written for and dedicated to Maria Dolens. At noon, the sound of one hundred strokes will put a solemn end to the event.



Memorandum of Peace, 4 October 2005

On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the first ringing of the Bell, on 4 October an important ceremony will be held in the presence of the ambassadors or civil servants of the countries which in the course of these 80 years have endorsed a version of a Memorandum for Peace, and whose flags (a total of 83) fly on Miravalle Hill; this is an opportunity for the renewal of our commitment to brotherhood, solidarity and the spirit of friendship between all the peoples of the world. 
All 83 countries have been invited, and accommodation offered for three members of each delegation.
Many of the delegates have confirmed their attendance, in view of the exceptional nature and significance of the event, while others have been in contact.
Due to the importance of the event and the enthusiastic reception, it is expected that there will be numerous official delegations in attendance at Miravalle Hill on 4 October.
On that day, then, Trentino and Rovereto will be the centre of the world, in an encounter where the official representatives of countries in all five continents will come together to talk about peace and solidarity between peoples.

The premises and aims that have led to the organisation of this event are briefly outlined below.
The Opera Campana dei Caduti Foundation, a non-profit organisation established by Presidential Decree on 18.01.1968, seeks to commemorate with dignity and solemnity the eighty years of the life of Maria Dolens.

It was 4 October 1925, in fact, when the fortunate and prophetic idea of Don Antonio Rossaro, the priest of Rovereto, finally came to fruition: the sound of a bell as a response to war and an admonition to Peace, brotherhood between peoples, solidarity and cooperation.

Maria Dolens - the baptismal name of the Bell itself - was conceived and made possible through the involvement of all the countries that fought in the First World War, triumphant and defeated alike, who offered the bronze of their cannons to make a Bell - the biggest of them all - which would become a universal symbol of Peace in the world. Not only in remembrance of the Fallen of the Great War, but of all wars, and at the same time a true expression of life, of peacefulness and collaboration among peoples.
In 1965, as he blessed the Bell in St Peter's Square in Rome on the first stage of its lengthy tour of Italian cities, His Holiness Pope Paul VI expressly called it the Bell of Peace: Maria Dolens, Bell of the Fallen and Bell of Peace. Every evening at 20:30 in winter and 21:30 in summer, the Bell offers its hundred strokes to people of good faith as an incitement to share in the sorrow of humankind and as a strong and creative impulse to a process of spiritual and structural peace-making.

4 October 2005: for us this is an extremely important anniversary, especially in the light of all that has happened in the world: wars, injuries, division, struggle, tragedy, but also moments of great advancement for humankind, positive intuitions for redemption, improvement in social and economic structures, strengthening and expansion of political democracy, the founding and proliferation of institutions in defence of human rights, widespread and participatory raising of awareness.

We believe that our chosen manner of commemoration is perfectly in line with the grandiose, solemn and universal task undertaken by the Bell from its inception and furthered by Father Eusebio Jori, Regent of the Foundation, who wanted the Bell placed on Miravalle Hill, from which even today it seems to guide the life of the city and dictate with its tolling the rhythms of the earthly day.
Around the Bell, in the small Piazza delle Gente and along the Avenue of Flags which leads to the Bell itself, there are a total of eighty flags from as many nations, plus those of the UN and the Council of Europe; nations which over the past decades have signed a "Pact of Peace" at various times and on various occasions, but all with the same determination and the shared objective of fully endorsing Maria Dolens' message of peace and making it their own, because reasons to live triumph over reasons to die, because friendship between peoples and love between individuals are stronger than hatred and division.