Tempio civico di San Sebastiano

A civil and religious monument, hosting the grave of the unknown prisoner since 1970.

In via Torino 28 there is the civil church of San Sebastiano, a place that’s been preserving its status of both civil and religious temple ever since it was built at the end of the plague, in 1576.

On 10th August 1945 and 1946, the masses in memory of the 15 martyrs of Piazzale Loreto took place here. From 1970, it hosts the grave of the unknown prisoner, precisely under the second chapel on the left, next to a marble Pietà by Benedetto Cacciatori. A plate bears the following words: “With no more wired fences in this world | rest in peace | unknown prisoner | in the 25th anniversary | of the Liberation | 1945 A.N.E.I. 1970”.

The body of this unknown soldier, who apparently died from a granade in Frankfurt, Germany on 26th March 1945, came back to Italy in May 1952. The following month, in the Duomo, a big ceremony was held, with the presence of the bishop Ildefonso Schuster, the mayor of Milan Virgilio Ferrari, former deportee to Bolzano, and Antonio Greppi, representing the Comitato Onoranze Caduti per la Libertà.
The body was buried in San Sebastiano 18 years later, on 21st June 1970, on initiative of the Mayor Aldo Aniasi, after a solemn mass celebrated by monsignor Carlo Manziana, bishop of Crema and former deportee to Dachau.

Massimo Castoldi