A Young Man’s Tomb

This tomb is in the nearby Basilica of the Twelve Apostles, and it is a bit unlike most of the others that you see there. First, because it is more recent – the person died in 1938 (i.e. it is not a tomb from the baroque period or some other bygone time); second, because it is for a young person, whose life was in a certain sense only just beginning.

The young man in question was Tonino Rezza. I don’t know anything about him other than what we can observe here. It seems that he came from a wealthy family, for to memorialize him with a tomb of this type in a major basilica in central Rome, I would guess, would have cost a fair amount. According to the dates on the (Italian) inscription he died on his 15th birthday – June 22, 1938. It doesn’t say anything about the cause of his death. But what it does say is interesting, and inspiring. First, a photo:

Touched up cell phone photo.

Touched up cell phone photo.

Beneath his name, it says that he was a Roman, 15 years old. Then it says:

Superior of Mind – Pure of Heart
On Fire with Holy Ambitions

Is Tonino a saint? Not in the official sense. Is he in heaven? We don’t know. We always pray for the dead!

But it would seem, from his memorial, that he had been on the right track, and perhaps even a bit advanced for his age. May we draw inspiration from this memorial, then – we who have far passed 15 years of age, yet still have a long way to go on the path of sanctity!

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