Venerable Giorgio la Pira

Venerable Giorgio la PiraAlso known as

  • The Holy Mayor

Profile

Giorgio joined the Lay Dominicans in his early 20’s, and their spirituality informed everthing in his life. Lawyer. University professor. Assisted with writing the Italian constitution after World War II. Lived in a cell in the San Marco monastery in Florence, Italy until chronic bronchitis forced him to move somewhere less cold and damp. A member of the Christian Democrats political party. Mayor of Florence from 1951 to 1965. He saw his mission in the office to bring “bread and grace” to the people of his city, helping supply their material and spiritual needs during the rebuilding following World War II. He made several official trips behind the Iron Curtain to Russia, China and Vietnam during the Cold War to promote peace and human rights; before making these trips, he would ask cloistered nuns to pray for him and his work while he was there. In Italy he worked for support for the poor and workers rights, which led to his willingness to meet with Communist leaders; this led to much criticism at the time and since. La Pira was well-respected by religious leaders outside Catholicism; in 1960 he began a friendship with Athenagoras I, the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, who famously asked the mayor to take a gift of candy to Pope John XXIII; the act helped open dialog between the two. When the died, Pope Paul VI honored the Holy Mayor during an Angelus address. When Pope John Paul II announced the “Jubilee of Governors” in 2000, he chose the date of La Pira’s death for his celebration, and a quote from La Pira became the motto for the event.

Born

Died

Venerated

MLA Citation

  • “Venerable Giorgio la Pira“. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 October 2018. Web. 9 December 2018. <>