Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster he was a cardinal and Italian Catholic archbishop, archbishop of Milan from 1929 to 1954. He was proclaimed blessed by Pope John Paul II on May 12, 1996.
He was born in Rome on 18 January 1880 by Giovanni (Johann), Bavarian tailor (at the service of the papal court first as a masterpiece for the departments of the Pontifical Zouaves, then as a tailor of the Pontifical Swiss Guard District), and Maria Anna Tutzer, of Renon.
He was soon an orphan of his father, and being very gifted in the study, he entered the student house of San Paolo outside the walls thanks to Baron Pfiffer d'Altishofen. In the following years he graduated in philosophy from the Pontifical College of Sant'Anselmo in Rome, became a Benedictine monk and on 19 March 1904 he was ordained priest in the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano by Cardinal Pietro Respighi.
Benedictine monk of the abbey of St. Paul outside the walls, later became procurator general of the Cassinese Congregation, prior claustral and on April 6, 1918, ordinary abbot of St. Paul outside the walls.
He was part of Amici Israël, an international Catholic league against anti-Semitism and racism, in which many converted Jews also militated. On 26 June 1929, Pope Pius XI appointed him Metropolitan Archbishop of Milan; Cardinal was created on July 15 and the following July 21 was consecrated archbishop in the Sistine Chapel by Pius XI, coconsacranti the archbishop Carlo Cremonesi (later cardinal) and the bishop Agostino Zampini.
In Milan, as soon as he arrived in the diocese in 1929, he founded the Diocesan Union Decorati Pontifici (now ADAS, Associazione Decorati Apostolica Sede) which brings together all the secular or religious figures endowed with pontifical honor. Schuster himself was honored by the great cross knighthood of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. In 1930 he appointed vicar general of the diocese Giacinto Tredici, who had been one of the founders of the Journal of Philosophy Neo-Scholastica, who will then be bishop of Brescia since 1934.
He governed the archdiocese in difficult times for Milan and Italy. He took as his model one of his most illustrious predecessors, St. Charles Borromeo: he proved to be assiduous in carrying out the pastoral visits to the diocese that he did five times in the twenty-five years of his episcopate. Numerous are his letters to the clergy and to the people, the meticulous and detailed prescriptions especially regarding the decorum of divine worship and the frequent diocesan synods; during his episcopate there are also two Eucharistic congresses. Renovated, on behalf of Pius XI, the Milanese seminars through the construction of the theological and high school seminary of Venegono Inferiore, inaugurated in 1935, where it will retire at the end of its existence.
Like almost the entire Italian Catholic world, Schuster had the illusion that through collaboration the Church could Christianize fascism (a letter before the Lateran pacts and the appointment as an archbishop is authentic), for example by celebrating a thanksgiving mass in 1935, 'the day after the invasion of Ethiopia by the Italian troops, so that God would protect those troops that in their view would have contributed to an ever greater diffusion of Christianity even in the "not yet Christianized" countries. Schuster abandoned this illusion following the approval of the fascist racial laws between September and November 1938.
Schuster participated in the 1939 conclave that elected Pope Pius XII. During the war period he actively supported the Charity of the Archbishop, giving the first position of responsibility to Carlo Bianchi, who had had the idea of ??a pastoral letter from him. Carlo Bianchi will die in Fossoli, shot.
At the fall of the Italian Social Republic he promoted a meeting in the archdiocese between Benito Mussolini and the partisan representatives, in an attempt to agree a surrender without bloodshed. He also proposed to Mussolini to stay in the archdiocese, under his protection, and then surrender to the allies. But the leader refused, preferring to try to escape. When on 29 April 1945 the shotgun bodies of Mussolini and the other fascist hierarchs were hung in piazzale Loreto, Schuster informed Riccardo Lombardi, prefect on the appointment of the National Liberation Committee, that he himself "in purple" would bless the bodies "because you must have respect for any cadaver. " Likewise, on 10 August 1944, when the Germans had killed fifteen partisans and left the bodies in the same place, Schuster had written to the German ambassador asking that the corpses be removed, "otherwise he would have to transport them". On that occasion, having been denied permission to go out and thus being unable to officiate the blessing, he took care to send the then deacon John Barbareschi for the blessing of the bodies.
From 1952 to 1953 he was the first