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The central importance of San Procolo

San Procolo is at the root of the “Professor’s” later decision to accept the candidature as Mayor of Florence. The theoretical and practical experiment of choosing a city such as Florence as a model for a community of citizens guided by the Gospel (manual of the engineering of redemption) would not have been possible without the previous exploit of the Mass of San Procolo.

It stands as a solemn, irrevocable declaration of intent, not thoroughly understood by many of his contemporaries, not to allow public welfare to be confused with mutual Charity and the creation of a Society of Brothers with an enforced assembly of worshippers of Progress.

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And even when this experiment in guiding the city was brought to nothing by specious political manoeuvres, the adventure continued in the context of San Procolo. Every Sunday La Pira celebrated his lay catechesis and, with the Eucaristic prayer of this “insignificant” community, launched this prophetic act towards the world, towards the great figures of history, in the utter and complete certainty that worldly failure is wedded to Salvation and is the unmistakable symbol of the true Victory.

“You are always a victor,” he was told by an illustrious Jewish friend when he had left Palazzo Vecchio and was starting on what to all appearances was a political decline. This Victory, firmly rooted in the sacrifice of the Eucharist, took place every Sunday in the bond between love among “the poor” and “the Risen Christ” in the Chiesa della Badia, while waiting to return to its original quarters at San Procolo.