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Synoptic chronology










Born in Pozzallo 9 January


Suppression of the Opera dei Congressi

Russian-Japanese War (1904-1905)





The Norwegian Parliament abolishes union with Sweden





San Francisco earthquake



Pius X condemns modernism with the encyclical Pascendi






 Messina earthquake

Bulgaria declares independence from the  Turkish empire


Enrolled in the "Giacinto Pandolfi" elementrary school in Pozzallo





Following anti-Monarchy revolt Portugal becomes a republic




War with Turkey for conquest of Libya

Revolution in China; Sun Yat Sen proclaims the Nanking Republic




Voting rights for all "literate males over   21 years of age"

China: abdication of Pu Yi and end of the empire


Goes to live with his uncle Luigi in Messina, where he finishes elementary school


 Patto Gentiloni: end of Catholic abstension from political life

Yamamoto new prime minister in Japan: rearmament accelerated


Enrolls in the technical school "Antonello da Messina"


General strike: "settimana rossa"

Outbreak of First World War




Italy enters the war

German submarine sinks the British liner  "Lusitania"


Enrolls in the "Antonio M. Jaci" Technical Institute

Appearance of the Madonna at Fatima.  Pope Benedict XV speaks out against the "useless slaughter"

Rout of Caporetto

Revolution in Russia                       Independence of  Finland           The USA enter the war




Sturzo and the foundation of the Partito Popolare

End of First World War.   First electiions with universal suffrage in Great Britain.




D'Annunzio at Fiume.  First "fasci di combattimento"

Versailles Conference  Wilson's 14 Points;  birth of the League of Nations  Rosa Luxemburg arrested and executed




Birth of the Partito Nazionale Fascista

Independence of the Baltic states. Russian-Polish and Russian Ukrainian wars.  Prohibition in the United States


Gains diploma in accountancy; works in his uncle's firm


Leghorn Conference: schism in the Socialist Party and birth of the Italian Communist Party

Lenin launches the NEP (New Economic Policy) in the USSR.   Sacco and Vanzetti first found guilty in the USA


Passes school-leaving exams; enrols in the Law Faculty

Death of Benedetto XV; he is succeeded by Pio XI

The "March on Rome"

Treaty of Rapallo between USSR and Germany.               Independence of Eire




Clerical-Fascist groups leave the Partito Popolare. Electoral Reform ("Legge Acerbo")

Death of Lenin Earthquake in Japan


Easter of this year is for La Pira a moment of special grace, by some inappropiately called his "moment of conversion"


Murder of Matteotti




Proclamation of Holy Year;  canonization of  St. Teresa of Lisieux. Istitution of the Feast of Christ the King.

Special laws: abolition of the freedom of the Press and establishment of the Fascist dictatorship.

Conference of Locarno             Death of Sun Yat Sen


Moves to Florence. Graduates in Law. From October Assistant professor of Roman Law.

Maritain publishes "Three Reformers: Luther, Descartes, Rousseau"

Dissolution of all political parties except the Fascist.   Istitution of the OVRA and the special tribunals.



Scholarship to Vienna and Munich. "Professore Incaricato" of Roman Law.

Pope condemns "Action Francaise"

Trades Unions suppressed; "Carta del lavoro" and corporations introduced

Kemal elected President of Turkey, secularization of society and introduction of the Roman alphabet


Professor of the History of Graeco-Roman Law.  Becomes member of the Istituto della Regalità and a Franciscan Tertiary     


The Gran Consiglio del Fascismo becomes the official organ of the State

Stalin's power consolidated: Socialism in a single country; first Five-Year Plan                    Votes for women in Great Britain



Lateran Pacts

Lateran Pacts

Wall Street Crash


"Libera Docenza" in Roman Law


Birth of IMI and IRI

First Civil Disoedience campaign in India



Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno


Republic proclaimed in Spain.  Birth of the British Commonwealth


He is active in Catholic organizations; friendship with Don Facibeni,  Card. Dalla Costa and Don Raffaele Bensi, who will become his spiritual director



Japan invades Manchuria. End of the Losanne Conference on war reparations


Is awarded the Chair of  “Istitutions of Roman Law” in Florence.

Concordat between the Holy See and Hitler's Reich


Hitler is Chancellor; the Reichstag fire;  concordat with the Vatican   Roosevelt USA President: end of Prohibition and recognition of the USSR


Meets Mons. Giovambattista Montini.  Founds the "Messa di San Procolo"


Anti-Fascist action pact.  Hitler visits Italy

"Night of the long knives" in Germany; Chancellor Dolfuss assassinated in Austria.


Founds the Conference of  San Vincenzo “San Bernardino da Siena”; among the members are Carlo Bo, Piero Bargellini, Nicola Lisi, Giovanni Papini, Pietro Parigi.


The Ethiopian War; the Sanctions and autarchy

Nurenberg racial laws: persecution of the Jews begins.  In China Mao's Long March ends: birth of the Shan-si Soviet Republic


Starts living in the Convent S.Marco

Jacques Maritain's "Integral Humanism"

"Italian Empire" is proclaimed

Pact "anti-Comintern" between  Germany and Japan; asse Roma-Berlin. Beginning of the Spanish Civil War



Encyclics "Mit brennender sorge" against nazism and "Divini Redemptoris" against communism

Italy backs Franco in the Spanish civil war. Italy leaves the League of Nations. Carlo and Nello Rosselli are murdered

Chian-Japan War. Chamberlain becomes prime minister in UK

 Guernica bombing




Ratial laws against Jews

Anschluss of Austria to Germany. Pact of Munich Monaco and annessione dei Sudeti


Fouds “Principi”

Pius XI dies ; Pius XII is elected

Invasion and annexion of Albania

talo-German Pact of Steel.  Molotov-von Ribbentrop pact.  Dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. End of  Spanish Civil War. Invasion and partition of Poland; outbreak of Second Word War.




Italy enters war beside Germany.  Attack on Greece.

Nazi occupation of Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France and Norway.  Soviet occupation of Finland and the Baltic republics.




Attack on Yugoslavia

Beginning of Russian campaign. Japanese attack Pearl Harbour.





Seige of Stalingrad and Soviet counter-attack.


Takes refuge first in Chianti then in Rome.


Anglo-American landing in Sicily. Arrest of Mussolini. Armistice. Liberation of Mussolini and Republic of Salò

Conferences of Teheran and Casablanca between  Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin


Returns to Florence. Chairman of the Ente Comunale di Assistenza. Goes to live in the Clinica Palumbo in via Venezia


Fosse Ardeatine. The "Svolta di Salerno" and Bonomi government..  Liberation of Rome and Florence

Normandy landings. Liberation of Paris and Brussels. Bretton Woods Conference.  Roosevelt President for the 4th time.




General insurrection in the North and Liberation. Execution of Mussolini. Coalition government under Parri, then first De Gasperi government.

Conferences of Yalta and Potsdam. Birth of UNO. Fall of Berlin. Atomic bombs on Japan. Nuremberg Trial.


Elected member of the Constituent Assembly, is one of the "Committee of 75"


Institutional referendum. Proclamation of the Republic. Elections for the Constituent Assembly. Second De Gasperi government. De Nicola President.

Trygve Lie first Secretary of UNO. Paris peace conference. Independence of Syria and Trans-Jordan.




Schism of Palazzo Barberini. Third De Gasperi government, without left wing.   The Constitution ratified.

Independence of India and Pakistan. Marshall Plan


Elected to the Chamber of Deputies. With  Dossetti, Lazzati e Fanfani founds "Cronache Sociali"; writes "L'attesa della povera gente". Under-Secretary of Labour..


The Constitution comes into force. Political elections and victory of the DC.  Fourth De Gasperi government. Attempted assassination of Togliatti


Declaration of the Righs of Man. Assassination of Gandhi. Constitution and proclamation of the State of Israel; first Arab-Israeli war. Assassination of Bernadotte.



The Holy Office excommunicates Catholics who accept or support the "doctrine of materialistic and anti-Christian Communism".

Italy adheres to the Atlantic Treaty. Fifth De Gasperi government. Agrarian reform and "Cassa per il Mezzogiorno"

Birth of the Chinese People's Republic. First Soviet atomic bomb test. Birth of the two German republics. The Atlantic Treaty established.


Resigns from government with entire Dossetti+B18 group.

Proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption

Sixth De Gasperi government.

Outbreak of Korean War.  Chinese attack Tibet. MacCarthyism in the USA


Asks Togliatti, who is leaving for Moscow, to urge Stalin to find a political solution to the  war in Korea.                                                          Elected Mayor of Florence. Started correspondence with the Enclosed Orders..


Venoni Riform; 7th De Gasperi government.

King Abdallah of Jordam assasinated.  Mossadeq Prime Minister of Iran  E.C.S.E established.


First Christian Conference for Peace and Civilization.



Eisenhower elected President. First H-bomb test.       King  Faruk deposed in Egypt       Eva Peron dies.


Public housing programme; building of the Isolotto begins. Rescue of the Pignone.   Second Christian Conference for Peace and Civilization.

Cardinal Wyszinski arrested in Poland.

Elections and clash over the "legge truffa".  Pella government and the Trieste question.  The ENI established headed by Mattei.

Death of Stalin. Pan Mun Jon armistice in Korea. Workers' revolt in East Berlin. Rosenbergs executed  in USA     Fidel Castro arrested at the Moncada. Hammarskjoeld Secretary General of UNO


He recquisiions the " Fonderia delle Cure".  Speech in Geneva on  "The value of the city". Third Christian Conference for Peace and Civiliazation.


Death of De Gasperi. Scelba government  (DC-PSDI-PLI)

Failure of E.D.C.; birth of UEO. Battle of  Dien Bien Phu. Geneva Conference.  Nehru-Ciu En Lai agreement on Tibet. Independence movement for the Maghreb; Algerian uprising begins.


Conference of the Mayors of the World's Capitals. Twinship with Reims and Fez.                                Fourth Christian Conference for Peace and Civilization.   Rebuilding of the bridges of Le Grazie and  Santa Trinita; Milk Centre and fruit and vegetable market. Relaunching of the  Maggio Musicale.

Death of Teilhard de Chardin

Gronchi President of the Republic  Segni Government. Italy becomes member of UNO



Reelected Mayor of Florence. The Soviet ambassador gives him a preview of the Khrushchev report to the XX Congress of the CPSU.                  Fifth Christian Conference for Peace and Civilization

Posthumous publication of Teilhard de Chardin's "The Phenomenon of Man"

The Constitutional Court established.

Tunisia and Morocco independent.        Insurrections and changes of government in Poland and Hungary and resulting Soviet intervention.  20TH CPSU congress and de-Stalinization. Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal; Anglo-French intervention.


Resigns as Mayor for lack of a stable majority. Prepares for the Mediterranean Colloquies with a series of contacts and journeys.


PSI Congress of Venice and victory of the  autonomists

Resignation of Mollet in France and Eden in Britain. Treaty of Rome for the European Common Market and Euratom


Elected to the Chamber of Deputies.        Rescue of the "Officine Galileo". First Mediterranean Colloquy.

Death of Pius XII. Election of John XXIII

Fanfani government

De Gaulle and the new constitution. Birth of the United Arab Republic. US Marines land in Lebanon.   


Visit to Moscow, preceded by a pilgrimage to Fatima.

Announcement of  Vatican Council II

Segni government. Moro, the DC Secretary, foreshadows an opening towards the left wing.

Fidel Castro enters Havana. Outbreak of Vietnam War. Chinese invasion of Tibet.


Local elections in Florence and great personal success.  Second Mediterranean Colloquoy.


Tambroni government supported by the MSI. Demonstrations and victims. Fanfani  government with PSI abstaining.

Decolonization of sub-Saharan Africa begins. USA U-2 incident and failure of Geneva talks. China-USSR crisis.


Re-elected Mayor of Florence. Third Mediterranean Colloquy.

Death of Card. Dalla Costa; he is succeeded by Mons. E. Florit. Encyclical Mater et Magistra

First Centre-Left municipal councils.

Evian talks ending the Algerian war.  Crisis in the Congo; Hammarskjoeld assassinated. John F. Kennedy President of the USA.  Landing in the Bay of Pigs. Gagarin first man in space. The Berlin Wall built.


New Urban Development plan; programme of public works (building 17 new schools; overpasses, underpasses etc.)

Opening of Ecumenical Council Vatican II

First Fanfani government with Centre-Left majority. Electricity nationalized.

Independence of Algeria recognized.                                  Soviet missile crisis in Cuba. China-India frontier war.


U Thant made honorary citizen of Florence. Convokes East-West Round Table on Disarmament.

Encyclical Pacem in Terris. Death of John XXIII; election of Paul VI.                                  Second session of the Council.

Governments of Leone and Moro. Birth of the PSIUP.   Vajont landslide.

Creation of the Organization of African Unity (30 independent countries). Buddhist oppostion in South Vietnam.


Visits the  USA.   New local-government elections in Florence  

Paul VI makes a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.                                 Third session of the Council

Saragat President           Desth of  Togliatti and memorandum of  Yalta

France recognizes the Chinese People's Republic.                     Khrushchev ousted                    Tonkin incidents and USA bombs North Vietnam.


Gives up mayorship of Florence for last time.  Visit to Vietnam

Paul VI visits UNO.            Final session of the Council


"Cultural revolution" begins.    Malcolm X assassinated            US landing in San Domingo


Travels to encourage solidarity for Florence after the great flood.

Index of Forbidden Books abolished.  Gromyko visits Vatican. Pope meets Anglican Primate.

Third Moro government of "organic centre-left".  SIFAR scandal.

Lunik 9  soft landing on moon.    The "great coalition" in Germany. Black September in Jordan


Elected  President of the World Federation of the Union of Cities (FMCU)  Visits the Middle Eastern capitals.

Encyclical Populorum Progressio.   PaoloVI receives the Soviet President N. Podgorny


Six Days War in Middle East. Colonels' coup d'etat in Greece. Secession of Biafra


World conference in Tunis of the youth of the FMCU.  Visits Prague by invitation of the Mayor.

Post-CounciI disquet.  In Florence, Isolotto crisis.

Elections. Governments of Leone and Rumor

French students' rising. Dubcek and Soviet repression. Assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. Nixon President. Non-Proliferation Treaty. Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico.


Visits to the European capitals and the Middle East.   Speech on non-violence ant the centenary celebrations for the birth of Gandhi.

Paul VI visits Africa

Piazza Fontana massacre in Milan. "Il Manifesto" first issued.

Resignation of De Gaulle. Brandt  premier in West German, Palme in Sweden. Disorders in Northern Ireland. Cino-Soviet clashes on the Ussuri. Gheddafi coup d'etat in Libya.     Mundlane killed; death of Ho Chi Minh  First American astronauts on the moon


Series of meetings and initiatives for distension in Europe and the possibility of Conference for security and cooperation.  Congress of the FMCU in Leningrad.      Goes to live at the Opera per la Gioventù.

Paul VI visits Asia

The Regions constituted. Divorce law passed. Workers' Statute promulgated.

Salvador Allende  President of Chile. Tension continues in Ulster. The FRG recognizes the Oder-Neisse frontier. Death of Nasser; Sadat succeeds him.   Biafra secession ends.   



Apostolic Letter  Octuagesima Adveniens                         Monsignor Casaroli in Moscow Paul VI receives Tito

Leone President of the Republic

Clashes over the independence of East Pakistan (Bangladesh).  Nixon visits Peking     The USA unilaterally cancels Bretton Woods.




Freda and Ventura accused of right-wing conspiracy

Clashes in Londonderry    Terrorism at the Munich Olympics. Mysterious death of Lin Piao   Inependence of Bangladesh


In Dakar he is for the third time elected President FMCU. Visits Chile at the invitation of Salvador Allende

Conspiracy of the "Rosa dei venti"

Berlinguer launches the strategy of the  "historic compromise"

Helsinki:Conference for Secuity and Cooperation in Europe.   Great Britain,  Denmark and  Ireland in the EEC.               Arab-Israeli war of Yom Kippur   Coup d'etat in Chile                      The two Germanies in UNO




Referendum on divorce.      Massacre of Piazza della Loggia in Brescia and on the  Italicus train

Carnation Revolution in Portugal,  Guillaume scandal and resignation of Brandt  Republic proclaimed in Greece Watergate and resignation of Nixon




First government (Andreotti) with the abstension of the PCI

End of Paris Conference on Vietnam                      Independence of Angola and  Mozambique    Death of Franco


Elected to Senate and Chamber of Deputies, he opts for the latter.


Law 194 ratified. Early elections called.                   Lockheed scanda

Milatary dictatorship in Argentina Election of Carter. Isabel Peron deposed. War in Lebanon.  Death of Ciu En Lai and Mao. The Band of Four against Deng


Dies on 5 Novembre

Lefebvre excommunicated.

Gui and Tanassi found guilty

Democratic elections in Spain.  RAF Terrorism in Germany        Breznev also President         Second CSCE conference in Belgrade  Sadat visits Jerusalem.