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Little family of Monte Sole

Monte Sole (Marzabotto), Bologna, Italy, October 28, 2015. Adolf Hitler said” We must be cruel we must be with quiet consciousness. We must destroy technically, scientifically” those words are impressed on a stone of the entrance wall at the Casaglia cemetery. On the Marzabotto area, situated on the Appennini mountains between Bologna and Florence, the German Nazists special forces SS with the help of Italian fascists, accomplished one of the biggets slaughter against the local civil population of the Second World War, killing 1836 people, including 250 children. Only at the Casaglia cemetery were killed by machine guns and hand grenades 195 people between them 25 children.


Little family of Monte Sole, photo essay by Paolo Bona

In 1944 at Monte Sole, on the Bologna’s Appennino mountains, Casetta and Podella were 2 farms producing cereals, fruits and grapes, surrounded by a huge area of wood and chestnut trees. Casetta was one of the Italian partisans Red Star mountain headquarter, and the family living at Podella was supporting them on the Resistance against the German Nazi occupation and the Italian fascists.
Today the 2 houses after being restructured by monks, home their community, Little Family of Annunziata, since 1984. The community was founded by father Giuseppe Dossetti, a former partisan fighter, a signatory of the Italian Constitution written after the II World War on 1947, a politician leader of the Christian Democratic party since 1952, and finally became a priest on 1959.

In this area under the Marzabotto municipality, situated on the Appennini mountains between Bologna and Florence, the German Nazi special forces SS, with the help of Italian fascists, accomplished one of the biggest slaughter against the local civil population of the Second World War, killing “only” in 6 days, between September 29th and October 05th 1944, 770 people, including 250 children. At the Casaglia cemetery were killed by machine guns and hand grenades 195 people between them 50 children. People who first found shelter on the Casaglia’s church was forced by the German soldiers to walk until the cemetery in a modern Jesus Christ via Crucis, sooner the priest Ubaldo Marchioni was shot dead on the altar.

At Cerpiano, a tiny hamlet with a large three-storey building also home of a nursery-school, on September 29, 1944, the German troops gathered about 50 people, mostly women and children, in the oratory and slaughtered them with hand grenades: on September 30, after 24 hours of agony, to make sure they were all dead, they head fired wounded survivors.
Adolf Hitler said “We must be cruel, we must be with quiet consciousness. We must destroy technically, scientifically” those words are impressed on a stone of the entrance wall at the Casaglia cemetery.
Today here only lives the Little Family of Annunziata, as a presence of prayer, reflection and silence. (Paolo Bona)

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Monte Sole (Marzabotto), Bologna, Italy, October 28, 2015. Aggeo, 67 years old, praying on the monk comunity founder Giuseppe Dossetti’s grave stone inside the Casaglia cemetery. Aggeo became a monk on 1987 at the age of 39 years old. After the German SS slaughter on September 29, 1944, nobody else was buried on this cemetery except from the comunity monk founder Giuseppe Dossetti, who was previously a partisan fighter during the war, then a successfull politician on the Christian Democratic party, and Monsignor Luciano Gherardi, author of the book “Oaks of Monte Sole”. On the Marzabotto area, situated on the Appennini mountains between Bologna and Florence, the German Nazists special forces SS with the help of Italian fascists, accomplished one of the biggets slaughter against the local civil population of the Second World War. Only between September 29th and October 05th 1944, 770 people were killed, most of them were women, senior citizens and children. Here at the Casaglia cemetery were gathered and killed by gun machines and hand grenades 195 people incuding 50 children.

Monte Sole (Marzabotto), Bologna, Italy, December 23, 2015. Picture of the original pix of Santa Maria dell’Assunta’s church with bullets holes on it, on the altar church ruins. The priest Ubaldo Marchioni asked the German soldiers to let him finish the hosts do do not be profaned, before they shot him down on the altar while holding the pix. Here the civil population was gathering to find a shelter from the Nazi roundup, but in vain. The German SS special forces after killed the priest Ubaldo Marchioni on the altar forced the population to walk into the nearby cemetery to get shot dead, as a Jesus Christ Via Crucis. After being found through the church ruins the pix has been guarded on the monastry and still used.

Monte Sole (Marzabotto), Bologna, Italy, October 28, 2015. Aggeo, 67 years old, became a monk on 1987 at the age of 39 years old, he’s in charge of the monastry laundry. Monks have to work and be selfish. On the Marzabotto area, situated on the Appennini mountains between Bologna and Florence, the German Nazists special forces SS with the help of Italian fascists, accomplished one of the biggets slaughter against the local civil population of the Second World War. Only between September 29th and October 05th 1944, 770 people were killed, most of them were women, senior citizens and children.

Monte Sole (Marzabotto), Bologna, Italy, October 28, 2015. Aggeo, 67 years old, walking throught the forest toward the Sister nuns monatsry where they celebrate mass togheter. Aggeo became a monk at the age of 39 years old, the day July, 21 1987. On those mountain villages between September 29 until October 05th 770 civilian innocent people, most of them women, senior citizens and children were killed during a German Nazi SS roundup with the help of Italian fascists, and became one of the biggest slaughter of the Second World War. On those places is based the monastry of the Little family of Annunziata, as a presence of prayer, reflection and silence.

Monte Sole (Marzabotto), Bologna, Italy, December 22, 2015. Monks are praying the Rosary walking at night, with the help of a handy torch, into the Santa Maria dell’Assunta church’s ruins. They walk while praying from their monastry to the cemetery of Casaglia first, where the German Nazists SS killed 195 people and where founder monk Giuseppe Dossetti is also buried; then they continue walking until the ruins od the Santa Maria dell’Assunta church, where the civil population was gathering to find a shelter from the Nazi roundup, but in vain. Here the German SS special forces killed the priest Ubaldo Marchioni on the altar, and then forced the population to walk into the nearby cemetery to get shot dead, as a Jesus Christ Via Crucis.

Monte Sole (Marzabotto), Bologna, Italy, October 28, 2015. Aggeo, 67 years old, became a monk at the age of 39 years old, the day July, 21 1987. Portraited on the monastry library with his Holy Bible on the table. The cover leather was a present he received from a sister nun of the same comunity “Little family of the Annunziata”. Reading the Holy Bible is very important for Aggeo, he told me that you can find the answer for every sorrow. Studing and reading Holy texts is very important for the comunity monks, and they prefer to read on the original languages they were written, Greek, Aramaic, Latin.

Monte Sole (Marzabotto), Bologna, Italy, December 23, 2015. Sky stars at 05am in the morning above of the Little Family building houses. The lighting window comes from the little chapel where monks start to pray at 03:40am. They read both from the Old and the New Testament of the Bible. Mainly prayers are singed in latin in the manner of Gregorians chants. Then between 04:30 and 05:30 they keep going praying individually in their rooms or staying in the chapel, before going to Mass at the Sisters nuns church based at 5min walking on the mountain wood.

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