Those who have known war often find themselves working for peace. Father Eusebio Iori, Director of the Foundation from 1953 to 1979, the year of his death, knew two wars all too well. It was a recurring theme in his stories, one he had just fought in and the other he had lived through. He was born on 24 August 1918 in Revò, Val di Non, and died on the 12th of the same month in 1979, the day on which the Rovereto Peace Bell Foundation remembered him again this year. A concert was organized together with the Associazione Italia-Austria of Trento and Rovereto and entrusted to the «Bianche Zime» Choir, which proposed a program dedicated to the work of the Capuchin monk entitled “Campana squilla” (The Bell Rings). With them the harpist Chiara Brun, and the actors Elisa Magnabosco and Romano Panizza, of the group « Prove de Teatro » from Calliano, who counterpointed the event with pieces and readings.

It was an opportunity to retrace the life of a man who founded his pursuits on values that today are considered central throughout Europe, but which were not so obvious in the first half of the last century. Breaking down walls, building bridges and sowing peace were not shared policies. Walls were built, peace was in the making and was believed to be guaranteed from closure towards the other. There was little talk of cultural bridges. Father Eusebio continued to go against the tide for a long time, also making use of the religious habit, donned in 1935, seven years before becoming a priest. A mission carried out from 1943 to 1977 as chaplain of the Guardia di Finanza (Financial Crime Investigation Unit) in Trento and then as Head of the Spiritual Assistance Service at its General Headquarters in Rome. A way to live the religious mission intensely, dedicating himself to the needy, without neglecting his role as a soldier.

As Director of the Bell of the Fallen, he was given credit for undertaking initiatives in various areas and promoting relations, also international, which even today constitute a valuable investment for the Foundation and for the entire regional community. The work he carried out between Italy and Austria in the dramatic post-World War II period, promoting fruitful and continuous peaceful and collaborative relations, is now extremely actual and is carried out and implemented with initiatives on both sides of the Brenner Pass. In particular, his commitment was exceptional, not only for the recasting of Maria Dolens, but also for obtaining recognition of the Rovereto Peace Bell Foundation as a legal entity.

Rediscovering European roots 65 years after the Treaty of Rome of 25 March 1957 and identifying Europe’s fundamental values together with the memory of important figures who helped to shape the cultural fabric of this important political and institutional path is not a simple historical celebration but a social and cultural commitment to give new impetus to those ideals. Father Eusebio Iori is certainly among the individuals to remember for a life characterized by a great industriousness in favour of dialogue between peoples and for peace, that in these times would be particularly relevant and useful.

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