The " Grandfather of peace " has just turned one hundred years old. So the children of Novara, who demonstrated for peace and the abolition of war, have nicknamed Pietro Gaverini. He deserved this challenging title because he had clear and strong words during the demonstration:
"War must be buried, you children, you must learn to love one another and to search for peace. Every time and everywhere, not only here but all over the world. Stop the weapons and the weapons factories!"
His authority stems not only from a long life, but also from his experience of war and deportation to the camps for Italian soldiers interned in Nazi Germany. There they were forced to work in the war industry.
Pietro has been a guest at the "Simeon and Anna" family home of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Novara for a few months . He has found a second family and the strength to keep on dreaming of a better world.
On the occasion of his birthday, together with the blessing of Pope Francis, Piero was given a commemorative medal of the Community of Sant'Egidio which reproduces on one side the church in Rome that gave the name to the Community and on the other the dove of peace. He was happy and proud of this gift and reaffirmed his appeal especially to children and young people not to stop asking for and building peace.
At a time when the reasons of force and violence seem to prevail, Piero's testimony and that of his young friends are a sign of hope so that the paths of dialogue and peace may finally be found.