In the trenches during the First World War
“During the First World War, when I was on sentry duty in the trench during the night, I was always tormented by the thought of the divine command: the fifth: do not kill”.
Giordani’s heroism was evident in the trenches during the Great War, in a theatre of war where everyone had a rifle in their hands, ready to shoot and kill the enemy. Everyone? There was at least one exception: Igino Giordani had decided that he would never shoot another human being. He could not do it because his Christian conscience taught him that every person is a child of God, his brother or sister.
“Is it a crime against the nation? So be it. I could not squeeze even a drop of hatred out of my spiritual fabric. And even in front of that pale and terrified face, I remembered the saying attributed to Jesus: “You saw your neighbour, you saw the Lord”.
He went from trench to trench comforting his comrades, and he never left anyone behind. He knew he could be killed if he did not use his rifle, but he did not renege on his religious beliefs. On 7th of July 1916 he was hit in the leg and hand by explosive bullets. He was badly wounded and had to have many operations. The consequences of those injuries stayed with him all his life.
“The Gospel, on which I had already reflected much, taught me it was my duty to do good and not to kill; to forgive and not take revenge. … I suffered for the millions of people whom they sought to convince of the holiness of those murders; a holiness vouched for by churchmen who blessed the cannons destined to offend God in his masterpiece of creation, to kill the image of God, to be guilty of fratricide, murdering one’s brothers, and baptized ones at that.”