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Sunday, September 27, 2009 – 10:30 a.m.
International Center of the Focolare Movement – Rocca di Papa (Rome), Italy
Official closing of the Diocesan phase for the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the
Servant of God
(Tivoli 1894 – Rocca di Papa 1980)
One of the most renowned persons of the 1900’s, father of 4 children, writer, journalist, politician, ecumenist, expert on the Fathers of the Church and co-founder of the Focolare Movement, for his contribution to the spreading of the charism of unity, especially in the family, in ecumenical, political and various other aspects of society.
Can a politician become a saint?
This was the question that Igino Giordani had when, in 1945 after his long collaboration with Fr. Sturzo of the Italian ‘Popular Party,’ Alcides De Gasperi convinced him to participate in the political elections. His desire for sanctity had already been awakened at 22 years of age when he was on his military hospital bed after the Great War (WWI).
In the difficult years after the war he became an “innocent” politician without any special privileges and assumed the role of a member of the assembly and parliamentarian for “social service and charity in action.” A strenuous defender of peace, he considered war as an “act against the people, an insult to liberty and democracy.” Because of his harsh statements against fascism, he lived “in political and civil confinement,” was removed from the cadre of journalists and was forbidden to teach.
“Either Europe unites or Europe perishes,” he wrote in the ’50’s when he was a member of the first Council of the People of Europe. In the early 20’s he foresaw the birth of a United Europe.
He was director of authoritative newspapers, but he later resigned from “ll Popolo,” not wanting to be a “director who was directed.” A few years before that, he had also been director of “Il Quotidiano,” and when he threatened to quit there, the external forces that tried to pressure him gave in. As a journalist and writer, he has left a cultural patrimony of a hundred books and over 4,000 articles on politics, culture and religion.
He was an Italian Catholic intellectual, a scholar of the Fathers of the Church who became the voice of a heroic Christianity and, in a certain sense, a precursor of Vatican II, especially on the themes of the laity and of ecumenism.
In 1948 a turning point: his meeting with Chiara Lubich, who in 1943 had given life to a new Movement in the Church, the Focolare, which enkindled a “revolution in his soul.” He found there what he had long been searching for; the gates that had separated the “lay world from the mystical life” opened for him. His individual journey became communitarian. Giordani gave an important contribution to the spreading of the Focolare’s charism of unity in ecumenism, the family, politics and various other areas of society. Consequently, Chiara recognized him as one of the co-founders of the Movement. In many of his writings and in his own life he gives witness to that “charity in truth” described by Pope Benedict XVI in his last encyclical.
“So that the entire Church may find in him a model, a witness of the Gospel, a faithful lay person and a model of communion.” This was the way that Bishop Pietro Garlato, then Bishop of Tivoli, announced in a letter to Chiara Lubich on December 8, 2000 his decision to start the cause for beatification of Igino Giordani.
The diocesan phase of the process concluded on Sunday September 27, 2009 after 5 years of work on 2,500 pages of procedural documents. Investigating theologians have examined 98 books and more than 4,000 articles; the historical experts have examined 120 stacks of unpublished writings, around 60,000 pages. They also have documentation of more than 50 graces received through the intercession of Giordani. From among these the postulator of the cause will choose the one to be submitted to the judgment of the Church for the verification of the miracle.
The opening of the cause presided over by the then Bishop of Tuscolana, Giuseppe Matarrese, had taken place on June 6, 2004 in the Cathedral of Frascati, the diocese where Igino Giordani concluded his earthly life.
The concluding ceremony took place at the International Center of the Focolare in Rocca di Papa, in the chapel where the remains of the Servant of God and of Chiara Lubich are preserved. The newly installed Bishop Raffaello Martinelli of the Dioceses of Frascati presided over the juridical procedure. It was preceded by a talk given by the new president of the Focolare, Maria Voce.
For more information, contact :
§ International Focolare Information Service: – Carla Cotignoli cell. 348.856.33.47 – Viledi Fabris, cell. 339.6451524 - Centro Internazionale Movimento dei Focolari – Rocca di Papa – tel. 06.947989
§ US Focolare Information Service: - Gary Brandl, Clare Zancucchi (845) 229-0230 x 171 or 180