On the 25th of June 2018, the “La Pira, Advocator for Peace, Crusader for China” exhibition Opening Ceremony took place at the Saint Paul School Hall. With the presence of our school community and followed live by our parents and school friends, Giorgio La Pira was remembered and honored.
The opening ceremony was graced with the presence of the special guests Doctor Alexis Tam, Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture; Father Manuel Antonio Silva Machado, Chancellor of the Macau Dioceses; Ms Xu Ting, Minister of Culture and Education of China Liaison Office in Macau; Mr Lo Pak San, Director of the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau; Monsignor Ante Jozic, Head of the Holy See Study Mission in Hong Kong; Ms Vicky Leong, Sub-Director of Education and Youth Affairs Bureau and Fr. Bonifacio Garcia Solis, Provincial of the Rosary Province.
The event took place within the “framework of the approaching fiftieth anniversary of the start of the diplomatic relations between the Italian Republic and the People’s Republic of China and to recover the figure of a man who worked on the civil cultural plan for the consolidation of International peace and the recognition of the People Republic of China by the International Community and as a permanent member in the UN Security Council” the school Principal stated.
Extracted from the video of La Pira’s life and works, shown during the ceremony, Giorgio La Pira was born in Pozzallo, in south-eastern Sicily, in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, January 9, 1904. After his Primary education in Pozzallo and Messina, he attended the ‘ Antonello’ and the ‘A. M. Jaci’ technical-commercial colleges and graduated in accounting and commerce. After obtaining his degree in Law he moved to Florence where he attained the chair or Roman Law in 1934.
La Pira was a prominent Italian politician. His work as mayor of Florence is punctuated by noteworthy administrative achievements and extraordinary political and social initiatives. Not only for the reconstruction of Italy after the fascist dictatorship and the disastrous outcomes of World War, but he also tireless defended, through the magazine ’Principi’ and the drafting of the ’fundamental Principles’ of the Constitution of Italy, the value of the human person, the universal right to work and freedom setting the Christian premises for authentic democracy.
La Pira’s commitment toward the People’s Republic of China was intense Unknown to many, La Pira was also the key player for the bishops of China to take part in the Second Vatican Council and the main supporter for the full integration of China into the International Community starting with recognizing the right to take part, as a permanent member with veto power, in the UN.
On Saturday 5 November 1977 La Pira passed away in the Clinic of the English Sisters in via Cherubini in Florence “and on 9 January 1986, the 82nd anniversary of La Pira’s birth Cardinal Silvano Piovanelli, Archbishop of Florence opened the diocesan process for his beatification in the Dominican Basilica of St. Mark, place where he lived, during his post as a mayor, as a member of the third order of the Dominicans Friars.
“I am glad that with the help of Mr Mario Primiceiro, President of the Foundation Giorgio La Pira and Mr. Giulio Conticelli and of course all the members of the school community who have been involved in this event we remember and pay honour to a politician, a man of the world and a man of God, whose process of beatification is on course” the school Principal said in his speech.
Likewise, Monsignor Ante in his speech emphasized the special role La Pira played during his life, not only in Florence and Italy but in the whole world as a promoter for peace and protector of the poor; message that was consolidated by Father Manuel Matchado during his blessing when he said that one of the lessons we can learn from La Pira today is that each one has a mission and we must have the courage to carry it out up to the very end no matter the obstacles we may come across.
After the beautiful mixed-East -West musical performance by our primary student Sung Ga Wai, the guests visited with admiration the exhibit of La Pira’s life and works at the Saint Paul School Fra Angelico exhibition gallery.
According to the School Principal, the exhibition will remain open for visits from Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:00 hours until 25 July 2018.