Igino Giordani and Giorgio La Pira

Convention in Florence: “Virtues and Politics”


“Two fathers who crossed two dark decades, and whom we miss very much today, when the separation of ethics from  politics seems to be a sort of destiny of which we are prisoners, and from which we don’t seem able to extricate ourselves.”  This is how Sergio Givone, cultural councillor in Florence’s administration, opened the Convention entitled ‘Igino Giordani and Giorgio La Pira: virtues and Politics’, greeting the participants who filled the Army Salon of Palazzo Vecchio last 25th of May. 


Marco Luppi - on the left - and Alberto Lo Presti - on the right, are IUS professors, Maurizio Certini, the moderator, in the middle


Tertiary dominicans by vocation, declaring themselves antifascists, with an incorruptible propulsive charge towards ideals in common, rooted in a faith distinguished by what the archbishop of Florence, Giuseppe Betori defined as the ‘folly of saints and the just’, in his introductory greeting: Giordani and La Pira were celebrated with a cultural event of historical meaning and not only, which saw the adhesion of the President of the Italian Replublic as well.


This initiative, organized by the Student International Centre ‘La Pira’, in collaboration with the Foundation La Pira, the Focolare Movement, the Igino Giordani Centre and the University Institute Sophia, was made even more special by the musical contribution of four artists of the Florentine May Musical Orchestra.


Before introducing the speakers, Alberto Lo Presti, director of the Igino Giordani Centre, as well as professor of Political Theory at the IUS, took the circa 200 present in the hall, on a journey composed of historical documents and films, in the context of the war’s aftermath:  of particular notice in the life of the intellectual and political man, a journalist and constituent father, was Giordani’s encounter with Chiara Lubich, key of a change which saw the same Giordani, not only auto-defining himself changed from a ‘hammer’ to a ‘hammer for heretics,’ but also to making himself a promotor of a historic ‘cafe`’ – which lasted from afternoon till sundown– in which Alcide De Gasperi came to know personally the trentine founder of the Focolare, and saw De Gasperi leave declaring that the occasion “had given him back hope.”


 “There was a consolidated relationship between La Pira and Giordani” – said Marco Luppi who teaches Contemporary History at Sophia, an attentive scholar of the historical-political biography as he showed shortly after, of the mayor of Florence, while using historical references.  In reading the interweaving of years and the diverse contextual references between the two personalities, Luppi clarified that the political vocation is but one of the numerous common consequences: from the obvious influence of the thought of Thomas Aquinas to the essential reference received by the blessed Contardo Ferrini; from the commitment in favor of peace, an absolute priority for both, to the reconstruction; professor Luppi sketches a two-layered portrait which professor Alberto Monticone, historian, past president of Catholic Action picks up, underlining the formation of the historical profiles of two singular personalities, for their simplicity, marked by their contact with suffering in their different life contexts, which cannot easily be framed within the Catholic movement, but which reveal themselves to be decisive representatives of the ensemble of Christian lay people who incarnated the conciliar project”.  Rounding off the group of illustrious speakers, Bruna Bagnato, teacher of History of International Relations of the University of florence, put the emphasis on the somewhat forced decisions relative to the Atlantic Pact, underlining the absolutely European prophetic vision, and the “farsighted impartiality” of the two figures.


Text: Mario Agostino

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