Process of Beatification Under Way for Focolare Co-Founder

Igino Giordani a Key Political Figure in Postwar Italy

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FRASCATI, Italy, JUNE 6, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The diocesan process of beatification for Igino Giordani, considered by Chiara Lubich a "co-founder" of the Focolare Movement, is under way.



The process opened officially today at St. Peter's Cathedral in Frascati.

Giordani (1894-1980) was a husband, father, ecumenist, writer, journalist and politician. His cause of beatification was promoted in December 2000 at the initiative of then Bishop Pietro Garlato of Tivoli, Giordani's birthplace, and Bishop Giuseppe Materresse of Frascati, the diocese where the Servant of God died.

The first of six children, in 1915 he was called to the ranks in World War I. The wounds he received caused him suffering for the rest of his life.

After earning a licentiate in letters, he dedicated himself to teaching in Rome. He married Mya Salvati and had four children: Mario, Sergio, Brando and Bonizza.

Igino Giordani entered politics in the 1920s, as head of the press office of the newly created Popular Party.

He also worked in the Vatican Library, where he succeeded in having Alcide de Gasperi hired, who had just come out of Fascist prisons. Giordani became director of Fides, the magazine of the pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In 1944, he was director of Il Quotidiano, a new periodical of Catholic Action. He later became director of Il Popolo.

On June 2, 1946, he was elected deputy and became one of the "Constitutional Fathers" who laid the foundations of the Italian republic. In 1950 he became a member of the Council of Europe.

As a writer, he published more than 4,000 articles, essays, tracts, letters and speeches.

The decisive event of his life was his meeting with Focolare founder Chiara Lubich in September 1948.

Drawn by the evangelical radicalism of Lubich's "spirituality of communion," he perceived that holiness could be a mass phenomenon in the Christian people.

He joined the Focolare Movement and became its first married member, the review Città Nuova said. Thus he opened the way for married Focolare members worldwide. Lubich considers him a co-founder.

His mystical journey included "dark" trials of the soul "that the Lord reserves for those he most loves," reads the biography published by the Focolarini.

Giordani died on April 18, 1980. He is buried in the cemetery of Rocca de Papa, near Rome.