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Paul VI (9 November 1977)

Paul VI on the occasion of his Audience of Wednesday 9 November 1977 (a few days after La Pira's death) said:

Giorgio La Pira is the example every Christian ought to keep firmly in mind during his earthly passage towards the kingdom of God (…)

The difference between Giorgio La Pira and many others of his time and his world is that he knew, he had the idea, he had before him the goals to be attained, and to this he committed his life, his very existence. He lived as a poor man, in poverty in the midst of a crowd of people, of problems, of commerce; but always with the idea, almost Utopian perhaps, of achieving this aim.

He is one who had the understanding of the ends in view, not just at the means of arriving. Arriving where? I tell will you, and this is what each one of us has to achieve: at a change in our way of thinking.

There are those who refuse for their own selves the need to change something in their mode of being and of thinking: All that current of naturalism which holds the good of man to consist in the right and duty to permit man to follow the impulses of his own being, adjudged to be already perfect as it is, not at all distorted by the legacy of Original Sin, is radically opposed to the great good tidings of Christian salvation and accepts the woeful notion of human life as a thing abandoned to itself, with all the dramatic and tragic consequences of its disorderly and frequently perverse results.

But La Pira has bequeathed to us the tangible example of an entire lifetime spent in attempting to “modify” the whole history of our times in terms of Christianity.