The 14th book of the Portraits of Saints

 01 06Antonio Maria Sicari present their complete figures in his books, without stylisation or exaltations, but full of human and Christian passion, desire for the supernatural, and also hunger and thirst for justice, love of God and solidarity for every person, and despite his disfigured face, it is the face of one for whom Christ died.

Sicari’s saints are not only accurate biographic stories, reconstruction of an epoch or thoughts, but also an explanation of the Gospel, and renewed proposals of the annunciation through the testimonials of disciples who tried to conform their lives to the Gospel of Christ.  The old, medieval, modern and contemporary portraits are, therefore, like tassels of the sole face of Christ, living explanations of the Gospel which the Church, as the communion of saints, is called to live in every age. (excerpt from the Jaka Book catalog).

In the 14th book of the “Portraits of Saints” we find Igino Giordani, God’s Servant, presented among those saints whom “God asked to pursue a path that crossed important crossroads of the human and Christian epoch we live in.”

Stars and tears: for humanity’s pain

In the story of Chiara Lubich and the Focolare Movement, 13 May is an important date. We shall let Giordani describe the event in 1944…13 05

On 13 May, the second great air raid unleashed on Trent. Among many other houses, a house next to Chiara’s was destroyed, and the walls and window panes of Chiara’s house were damaged. Also the homes of Dori and Natalia and others were uninhabitable. The hospital where Chiara’s brother worked as a medical assistant was greatly hit, with many dead and injured. 
On that same day she met Dori and they hugged each other: both were homeless. She went to the hospital and saw the massacre. It was then that Gino himself remarked: “All is vanity of vanities, everything passes away.”
That night she slept in the open with her parents who passed the night meditating on how they would evacuate. Chiara recalled that when she made her vow of chastity, she had promised her spiritual guide that she would not leave the city of Trent. She cried so hard upon thinking of the imminent separation from her parents who were unaware and tried to pacify her. She was consoled by the motto - Omnia vincit amor! (love conquers all) – and while praying, watched the stars of the Big Bear cross the night sky.

Just before dawn when her parents, obliged to evacuate, gathered the few objects still intact in the house, she told her father that she could not leave because of the promise she had made. She knelt in front of him, looking up to him with her eyes full of tears. Her father blessed her, though with anguish, and gave his consent. She repeated the same gesture with her mother who, however, opposed it. And her parents with their sacks on their shoulders, started off for the Piazza santa Maria maggiorecountryside. Empty handed, her soul broken with pain, and crying, she started off toward the destroyed city. At a certain point she met a woman who seemed to have gone mad with pain, and who shook her shoulders saying: “Four in my family are dead!” Chiara consoled her and thought that she had to forget her own pain and think of that of humanity.

Catherine of Siena

santa caterinaA genius of religious wisdom, the illiterate Catherine of Siena demonstrated that love, and therefore light, are given to everyone, no matter their skill level or education. Catherine’s example opens a window of understanding onto the mystery of Mary of Nazareth.  If one wants to know God in order to love him, they already know him , precisely because of their love for him.   Through love, through life, a child knows who their father is even if they aren’t conscious of the work he does in the world, the position he holds, or his personality traits.  “Everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.  Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 Jn 4, 7 – 8).

Catherine of Siena concentrates Jesus’s works and words into two principal realities: Fire and blood.  As is written in Revelations (1,5), Jesus is “him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood”.   And, it is the fire of love that brings about redemption: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Lc. 12, 49). 

If a christian community or a single soul remains frozen within their own structures and ways of doing things, even if beautiful and holy, but no longer spreading the fire of charity, then they become like cold embers. “For our God is a consuming fire...” (Heb. 12, 29).  From the time of Golgotha to today, a burning revolution of love has consumed errors, judgements, and crimes: it destroyed putrid waste, souls that were ruined, and suffocating establishments; it incinerated the corpses of the Dead.

For every person born by a woman, it is right and just that holiness be brought into homes and onto the streets.  This truth, Catherine repeated again and again to her followers, gives wings to the masses.   The Church, growing in its universal consciousness especially now, after the (Vatican) Council, wants to see frustration replaced by joy-filled coexistence.
Catherine concentrates the vitality of the redemption into two realities: fire and blood.  As fire, it destroys; as blood, it gives life.  This is precisely what the mystics reveal to us: In giving all of themselves to the point of losing everything, even their own strength, they are consumed by fire. Blood circulates in living beings and gives life:  Christ’s blood (and that of Christians) nourishes the mystical body.  

Igino Giordani, The One Love

Hearts that truly love, are rooted in joy.
“Charity”, says Saint Catherine, “does not search for things of its own nor does it try to find itself or God as an end in itself, but rather one’s self and one’s neighbor for God, and God for Himself. 

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The Palms

… And the population, with all its changes and deficiencies, felt that Jesus was one of their own: their head, doctor, master, saviour, one who did good instead of evil, loved instead of hating and served instead of being served.

20 03  There was an explosion of popular sentiment when he entered Jerusalem on the last Saturday, when the throngs – or masses, as one would say today - set up a triumphant welcome with joyous spontaneity.

There were guards in their armour, decorated officials, horses or carriages … there were cheering kids, hailing workers, women crying amid a shower of green palms… And in the sky the sun shone on this jubilation.  The people affirmed his power, giving the holy city the peaceful regality of its son, riding a donkey.

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Igino Giordani Center

Via Frascati, 306
00040 Rocca di Papa (Rm)
Tel.: +39-06-94 798 152
Fax: +39-06-94 749 320
> write us

Igino Giordani Center

Igino Giordani Center

Via Frascati, 306 - 00040 Rocca di Papa (Rm) - Italy
Tel.: +390694798314 / Fax: +390694749320
> Write Us

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