August 26, 2003

Monsignor Renato Martino visited memorial of the Holocaust

On Tuesday, 26 August 2003, the President of the Vatican Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Archbishop Renato Martino, visited the memorial Mural to the Holocaust Victims, installed inside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires.

In the course of his short visit to Argentina, the prelate of the Holy See decided to visit the only memorial in the world dedicated to those murdered during the Shoah located in a Christian temple.

Accompanied by Baruch Tenembaum, President of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, a non governmental organization which promoted the installation of the Mural, Monsignor Martino praised the enormous symbolical value of the piece of art -an impressive silver frame of 1,80 x 1,20 meters in which rests of books of prayers found in the ruins of the concentration camps are exhibited- inaugurated in 1997 by the former Primate of Argentina, Cardinal Antonio Quarracino (1923-1998).

In accordance with Cardinal Querracino’s last will, the Mural was moved, after his death, from the Santa Teresa’s Chapel to the Chapel of the Virgin of Lujan, where he was buried. There, Monsignor Martino placed some flowers and said a prayer in memory of his lifetime friend.

Monsignor Martino is, together with the Vatican’s State Secretary, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, one of the promoters of the Angelo Roncalli International Committee of the Wallenberg Foundation.

The Roncalli Committee’s aim is to acknowledge the rescue actions of the priest later known as Pope John XXIII in favor of Jews and other persecuted during the Holocaust. In his capacity as Apostolic Delegate in Istanbul, in 1943, Roncalli saved from extermination thousands of human beings condemned to death by the Nazi regime.

On July 2, 2003 the Wallenberg Foundation presented Monsignor Roncalli’s commemorative postal card at the Buenos Aires Apostolic Nunciature, a philatelic piece issued by the Argentine Postal Service.