Giorgio La Pira was one of the most important Italian politicians of the 20th century. He was mayor of Florence during the 50s and internationally stood out for his strong commitment to peace. In 1965, he traveled to Vietnam to try to obtain a peace agreement.
Pope Francis declared him venerable in July and spoke before the Giorgio La Pira Foundation, in late November. He said that politicians of his level are needed in today's world.
'His example is valuable, especially for those who work in the public sector, who are called to remain vigilant in the face of the negative situations that St. John Paul II defined as 'structures of sin.''
The pope said these structures are those that favor personal interests or groups rather than the common interest.
Pope Francis endorsed the words of La Pira to remember that committed lay people are needed in the world of politics.
'Politics, therefore, is a demanding path of service and responsibility for the lay faithful, who are called to inspire temporal realities in a Christian way, as the Second Vatican Council teaches.'
Giorgio La Pira is one politician whose canonization process is underway. Other politicians that could be declared saints are some of the founding fathers of the European Union such as Alcide De Gasperi and Robert Schuman.