This morning in Limbiate, in the province of Monza, the funeral of Luca Attanasio, the Italian ambassador killed in an ambush in Congo together with the carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci and a local driver.
"Dear son, we are destroyed by pain but we must be strong to be close to Zakia and the 3 beautiful granddaughters", is the message from Attanasio's parents, read by a friend at the end of the public funeral.
Luca's parents also wanted to give a thought to the escort carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci, who died with his son.
After the mass, the first to remember Attanasio was the mayor Domenico Antonio Romeo with his voice broken by emotion.
Then it was the turn of other friends.
An applause at the end welcomed the speeches and greeted the exit of the coffin headed for the cemetery.
The hardest words to find are those for his wife and daughters "and I think the most significant word is that oasis of celebrating mass and asking the Lord to console the living and welcome in his glory the one who has gone away like this" .
This was stated by the archbishop of Milan Mario Delpini arriving at the sports field in Limbiate.
"I only met him fleetingly when he came to see me before my trip to Congo - recalled the archbishop - but above all I had the testimony of our missionaries, of the people I saw in Congo who felt in him an ally for all the works of solidarity for human promotion that characterize the presence of our Christian communities in general ".
The sports field in the town where Attanasio grew up and where his family lives filled up quickly to give Luca a last farewell after the state funeral on Thursday morning in Rome.
The ambassador will then be buried in the municipality that saw him grow up and to which he was deeply attached.