Pope Francis will make a lightning visit to Tuscany on June 20, 2017 to visit the tomb of Don Lorenzo Milani (1923 – 1967) in the remote Tuscan village of Barbiani in the Mugello Valley north of Florence, departing the same evening via helicopter back to Rome.
Lorenzo Milani, originally an agnostic born of a Jewish mother and Catholic father, converted in the 1940s to Catholicism and was ordained a priest. In Calenzano he opened a “school of the people” open to all faiths, and was subsequently exiled by the Church to a schoolroom in poverty-striken Barbiani, where he introduced forward-thinking, modern educational learning methods, especially in language and writing. A believer in conscientious objection and in the equality of education for rich and poor, Milani’s legacy continues have an impact, also thanks his book, produced with his students, Letter to a Teacher, with editions in 40 languages to date.
Pope Francis will meet Don Milani’s disciples during his visit, which includes a stop at the rectory where Don Milani lived, and a commemorative speech.
To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.