Father Agostino Gemelli

Agostino Gemelli (Milan 1879-1959) medical doctor and psychologist entered in 1908 the order of Franciscans.

He was one of the promoters of the revival of the thomist philosophical studies and founder of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan (1921) where he was Rector (till his death) and professor of experimental philosophy.

La Pira met Gemelli in Germany (1928) while he was following doctoral studies in Roman Law in the framework of a fellowship awarded by the University of Firenze. La Pira speaks of those days when “..we talked of this hearthtaking perspecive of the consecration to the Lord. I was 26 years old and my soul was -as it is still nowadays- totally sacred to the Christ”

Few months later he and ten young intellectuals gathered in Castelnuovo Fogliani and spent one intense period of meditation under the guidance of Agostino Gemelli and decided to become officially lay members of the newly founded “Union of Missionaries of the Kingdom of Christ” that was later recognised by the Pope.

On the demand of Gemelli, La Pira wrote the biography of Vito Necchi (“The soul of an Apostle”). In its preface Gemelli wrote: “When I had to give someone the delicate task of writing a short book intended to expose to young readers the intimate life of Ludovico Necchi, I had to choose a man who considers his university career as a mission for he education of young generations and as a duty for the defense and deepening of Christian thought. Choosing La Pira I was right. He introduced us in the virtuous, sweet and exemplary Vittorio’s Christian life and he succeded in letting us perceive the irresisitble attractive power of this noble example”.

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