Alberto Michelotti and Carlo Grisolia
were from Genoa, Italy. They shared a friendship that was open to others and nourished on Gospel ideals of universal brotherhood and a united world.

The plunge into God


carlo scontorno 100 copyCARLO

"My dearest friends,
     Suddenly, Jesus has given me the way to unite myself to you in a closer way. It’s always a good play to live the Present Moment, because I’m realizing more and more that it’s the only thing you can live in a hospital – like anwhere – beyond yesterday’s big crucible experience in which I would be tested, beyond the emptiness of this morning in which I would lose myself and the fear of tomorrow in which I would let myself go.
     I salute you ... Let’s keep Jesus in our midst!”

[A note to some Gen boys during his last days in hospital, September, 1980]

I walked a long time
And have arrived, here
at your door.

Now, I’m still

and don’t know what to do.
How I’d like to find

the door open
so I can go in.

[Carlo’s last poem]


Genoa, Italy, September 26, 1980

Hi Chiara. THANKS. I’m also living to meet him, like you.

     Carlo VIR

[Last letter to Chiara Lubich, using all his strength to trace out the box letters in upper case form]


alberto scontorno 100 copyALBERTO

From the testimony of Tiziano G, with whom Alberto made his last climb

It’s August 17: two of us are left, me and Alberto. We moved to my mountains in Cuneo. The most beautiful climb was planned for tomorrow in the Maritme Alps, crossing the Argentera masstif through the gully of Lourusa. It was evening. We were in the small shelter at the foot of the gully. As we prepared for the climb, Alberto and I remembered the beautiful moments spent with the Gen. This would be the last climb and then we would return home and go back to our regular lives.

A meditation written by Chiara Lubich – picked at random – reminded us of the Final Judgement: “If a student could know beforehand what the questions on the exam would be, he would certainly prepare the answers.... We know the questions on the Final Exam: I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.... For all of us, the Final Exam will only be on Love!” As we said good night to each another, we prayed together that God would give us good weather the next day.

It’s August 18th. It’s 4:30 in the morning. The sky is peaceful and filled with stars; we can climb. We decided not to tie up because this kind of ice didn’t allow for anchor points. It was a beautiful climb: the natural surroundings, the breeze, the sound of the crampons on the ice.... It makes you instinctively thank God in your heart. The short rests, the difficult passes, the advice – it was all an occasions to carry on the relationship between us.

Then there was fragile ice, and it became dangerous. Below us a 600 meters’ slide; above us only 50: returning would be too risky. I continued carefully and could see the top coming closer. Alberto was a metre behind me.... I saw him lose his support on the crampons.... “The ice ax! Anchor the ice ax!” It was all useless: I still saw him as he took on speed ... then he disappeared. “My God, you can’t ask so much of me! Why?”

After the first moments of bewilderment and the hope of being able to find him alive – the rush! Over the the rock on the other side to get back quicker.... Each second could be precious!.... But my efforts couldn’t do anything for him.

Gazing on the body of Alberto, a pounding question resounded within me: “Why him and not me?” Then the other Gen arrived and, amidst tears, another thought came to all of us: ‘Love conquers all.’ Alberto had cried this with his life, and among us it had remained the certainty. How could it be true? ... The news quickly ricocheted among everybody. I remember the race by car to reach Alberto’s parents that night. They were with his body.

There, near to him, everything was sacred. Beautiful memories alternated with crude reality. The pain was horrible and strong, but even stronger the certainty was making way in us that this was a ‘Divine plan of Love’ and the hours we spent there in prayer – even amidst our pain – have remained in all of us as something truly Divine, Heavenly, of a complete gladness, of peace.

Altez 15px TRASPAR

On the writings menu page, you will find several texts by Alberto and Carlo divided by topic.arrow grey

Altez 15px TRASPAR


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