Pollo, Secondo, Bl.
POLLO, SECONDO, BL.
Military chaplain, diocesan priest of Vercelli, martyr; b. January 2, 1908, Caresanablot (near Vercelli), Lombardy, Italy; d. December 26, 1941, on the plain of Dragali (near Montenegro), Yugoslavia.
Secondo Pollo completed the minor seminary at Montecrivello, then studied philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Lombard Seminary in Rome. Following his ordination he taught at his alma mater in Montecrivello, while ministering in various parishes, including Cigliano, Borgo d'Ale, Saluggia, Livorno Ferraris, and others. He was particularly gifted as a catechist, preacher, and spiritual director. Later he taught philosophy and theology at the archdiocesan major seminary, served as chaplain of the Italian Youth of Catholic Action (September 1936), and ministered to prisoners. Pollo enjoyed parochial ministry and administered a parish in Larizzate (1940–41) until he was drafted as a military chaplain.
He was assigned to the Val Chisone battalion of the Alpine regiment, which was sent to Montenegro. He died on the battlefront between Italian and Yugoslav forces as he comforted a wounded soldier. The mortal remains of this priest, who was declared venerable December 18, 1997, were translated to Vercelli's cathedral in 1968. Pope John Paul II beatified him, May 23, 1998, during a pastoral visit to northern Italy.
Bibliography: L'Osservatore Romano, English edition (26 May 1998): 2.
[k. i. rabenstein]