Bozzolo, June 20 - Pope Francis on Tuesday paid homage to two priests who championed the poor. First he arrived by helicopter in the province of Matua town of Bozzolo to pray at the tomb of Don Primo Mazzolari. Mazzolari was a partisan during World War II who, as a priest, worked to help the poor. The Argentine pontiff was greeted by Cremona Bishop Antonio Napolioni and Mayor Giuseppe Torchio and a chorus of bell ringing form the local churches. During the visit, Napolioni announced that the process to beatify Mazzolari will start on September 18. The pope then flew to Barbiana, near Florence, to pray at the tomb of Don Lorenzo Milani, who founded a school for the poor and workers. Both Mazzolari and Milani came under fire from the Church hierarchy for positions that at the time were considered rebellious. "The gesture I carried out today aims to be a response to the request... for his (Milani's) pastoral activities to be recognised and understood in their faithfulness to the gospel," the pope said. "Today I did this as bishop of Rome... which does not cancel out the bitterness... but says that the Church recognises that path as an exemplary way to serve the gospel".
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