Born at Ferrara, he was given a Christian education by his mother, who kept their home open to the poor. Through his upbringing he became a firm defender of the poor in his later years.
Alberto Marvelli was born on 21 March 1918 in Ferrara, Italy, the second of six children to Luigi and Maria Mayr Marvelli. In Rimini, Marvelli attended the Salesian Oratory and was involved with the Catholic Action group in his parish. A childhood friend of filmmaker Federico Fellini, he loved all kinds of sports, especially cycling. When he was only 18, Marvelli was elected president of Italian Catholic Action. He continued his studies at Bologna University. Marvelli graduated in June 1942 with a degree in engineering and began working with Fiat in Turin. He left soon after for military service in Trieste, only to be exempted from it after a few months because three of his brothers were already in service. Shortly after began he began teaching in a high school.
During World War II, Marvelli continued to serve to poor at great personal cost and risk. The Marvelli family was forced to move to Vergiano, seven kilometres from Rimini, because of the devastating air raids. After each bombing, however, at the risk of his own life, Alberto returned to the city to help the wounded, dying and homeless. He is known to have given away even his bicycle and the shoes off his feet to those most in need. During the German occupation, he saved numerous people from deportation to the concentration camps, freeing them from the sealed carriages of the trains that were ready to leave the station of Santarcangelo.
After the war the interim Authorities entrusted Alberto with the allocation of housing. He proved to be an able administrator and a few months later was appointed to the town council. He opened a soup kitchen for the poor, where he himself served, and, as co-founder of Italian Workers' Catholic Action, he formed a cooperative for construction workers. He agreed to run in elections as a candidate for the Christian Democrats.
He was killed on 5 October 1946, when an army van hit him on a dark road, while riding his bicycle on the way to a polling station. His remains rest in the Church of S. Agostino in Rimini in a decorated tomb.
He was beatified in Loreto on 5 September 2004 by Pope John Paul II.
"Prayer's invincible power is not based on our own merits, but on those of Christ Jesus, in His fullness of mercy and grace. And believe whatever you shall ask the Father through Christ Jesus, in His name, we will be given."
Marvelli was also "a young Christian involved in politics," where "he left a sign of cleanness, transparency, dignity, correctness, which is a great message for all politicians today. One can be in politics and be a saint, and this is a very great message that comes from the life of Alberto Marvelli," said Archbishop Angelo Comastri of Loreto, in a conversation on Vatican Radio.