~ Words of Bl. Rolando
To understand a bit more about what led up to this young man's martyrdom, it's necessary to learn some of the history of his time and place. At the time Rolando was a seminarian, the end of World War II was right around the corner. In Italy, the Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, who was allied with the Nazis, had just been removed from power by Allied Forces in 1943, which then triggered the Germans to seize control of certain areas of the country. In turn, Italian militant resistance groups called "partisans" were formed, which included many Communists, who hoped to fill the governmental vacuum left by Mussolini and the Nazis once the civil unrest was over.