SHKODER – Roza Gjini, born in 1935, is the niece of Mons. Frano Gjini, martyr and blessed.
“As a child, in the summer, I used to go with my mother to Orosh (she never knew the father) to meet my uncle Frano and my grandmother. The trip lasted about 2 days each time, I was six years old and they tied me with a rope on the horse to keep me from falling ” she told me.
In 1945 her uncle, then already Mons., Was appointed apostolic delegate to Albania, a post that remained vacant because Mons. Nigris, an Italian, was not allowed to return to Albania.
After refusing to cut off relations with Rome to found an independent church on the proposal of Enver Hoxha, he was arrested on April 15, 1946 and taken to the Franciscan monastery, accused of being a spy for the Vatican.
As reported by Father Leonardo di Pinto in his hagiography, he was tied to a tree in the courtyard, in the cold, was stripped naked and immersed in a tub with ice water and tortured with an electric wire. They added salt to the torn skin and then put wooden spikes under his nails.
Rosa was 10 years old when her uncle was detained in the Franciscan convent / prison and was forbidden to see him. One day her mother took her to the convent wall lifting her up with her arms to try to show him his uncle who looked at her and greeted her. “It was the last time I saw him,” she told me. He was sentenced on January 8 1948 and shot on March 11, after 8 months of torture.
Roza grew up with her mom and maternal grandmother, while her uncle lived with her sister. When the mother got married, the uncle was archbishop. At 15 she was a cashier to try to help her mother, they lived locked up in the house for fear, by now they were ‘branded’ because of their uncle.
At the age of 19 she found herself in the process of being kicked out of work but, with the help of a couple of people and, given that when her uncle was arrested she was only 6 years old, she kept the job until retirement. She still lives in Shkoder near the Franciscan convent, on the lower floor than Gjovalin Zezaj.