Culture And Media

Italy: Obama invited to visit land of monk who inspired him

Cosenza, 28 August (AKI) - The southern Italian region of Calabria has invited US presidential candidate Barack Obama to visit the abbey made famous by the Medieval monk, Gioacchino da Fiore.

The mayor of San Giovanni in Fiore and the Gioachimiti Studies Centre have contacted Italo-American assocations about inviting Obama to the region of Sila to see the abbey that houses the body of the abbot and theologian, also known as Joachim of Fiore.

News of the invitation was announced as Obama was being endorsed as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in the US city of Denver on Thursday.

The town's council wants to honour Obama and make him an honourary citizen because on three occasions during the election campaign, he referred to Gioacchino da Fiore, the abbot who founded a 12th century monastic order in the area.

Italy's most famous literary figure, Dante Alighieri, referred to him in his famous Divina Commedia as a "gifted prophet".

In his speeches, the Democratic candidate referred to this great Medieval religious figure calling him a "master of contemporary civilisation" and one who wanted to create a fairer world.

"We are ready to welcome Obama," said the town's Mayor, Antonio Nicoletti. "We are proud that the presidential candidate is inspired by Gioacchino da Fiore.

"He is a much-loved figure and known by eminent European scholars, in particular Germans, French and paradoxically the Americans."

Anthropologist Aldo Civico, international relations expert and professor at Columbia University, who works with Obama, said he had not told the candidate about da Fiore or inspired his references.

"It was an independent cultural discovery by Obama," Civico told Adnkronos.

Meanwhile, many in San Giovanni in Fiore are awaiting a decision from the Vatican on the beatification of the monk. If there are no hurdles, it is expected to be approved within a year.




Contact us