It was born in 1922 in Santa Fiora, a small village of miners. At the beginning of the thirties he entered the novitiate in the order of the Piarist Fathers and in 1944 he arrived in Florence where he met Giorgio La Pira (friend and longtime collaborator). In 1945 he was ordained priest. His is a social Catholicism, which hopes for a profound reform of the Church.
Between 1959 and 1964 his resident was Frascati and then Rome where he lived the great season of the Second Vatican Council. In 1963 he is condemned for the defense of the first conscientious objector, as will happen a short time later to his friend Don Lorenzo Milani.
In 1965 he returned to Florence, but he resided in the Diocese of Fiesole at the Badia Fiesolana. The seventies and eighties will mark a decisive change in P. Balducci’s meditation: it will be the period of the so-called anthropological turning point, in which the theme of man’s destiny on earth and the commitment to peace become central.
Among the many books, we remember the most significant ones: The Third Millennium, Gandhi, Francis of Assisi, The Planetary Man, The Land of Sunset, and The Other.
He died in 1992 due to a serious car accident.
Ernesto Balducci Foundation
The Foundation was established in the aftermath of the Pirist Father’ death and it wishes to promote initiatives and events aimed at education to a culture of peace and interethnic coexistence, according to the concept of Father Balducci of the planetary man.
In recent years the Foundation has organized a series of events on issues that were central to Ernesto Balducci’s reflection even today of extreme topicality. In addition to an annual thematic program, the Foundation has promoted, in parallel, initiatives of study and critical investigation of the priest’s teachings, in collaboration with local institutions and universities: all activities supported by an intense and constant editorial activity, with particular attention to reprint of Father Balducci’s out of print works, to the publication of unpublished works, promoted also in collaboration with important national publishing groups, and historical-biographical essays also elaborated through the consultation and study of archival material. It is in this perspective that the collaboration with the San Paolo Publishing House was born, which has been actively collaborating with the Foundation for three years now.
The Foundation was legally recognized by the Region of Tuscany in 1996 and since then the Foundation has been active for twenty-five years. So in the year 2021 we will celebrate 25 years of her existence.
We invite you to visit the website of the Foundation: www.fondazionebalducci.it
President of the Ernesto Balducci Foundation
Activity referring to the last five years
- Follow-up of the digital inventory of archival material and material acquired by the archives in the period 1996-2005.
- Publications of correspondence between Ernesto Balducci and some characters and friends whose correspondences are kept in the archives (some of them realized and some in progress), including Fra Nazareno Fabbretti, Primo Mazzolari, David Maria Turoldo.
- In 2018 two volumes were published using materials and correspondences from the Balducci archives. The first one is about his cultural activity in the years 1951-1955 “Ernesto Balducci e il Ragguaglio librario nella corrispondenza con Don Ratti” and the second one is an anthology of Balducci’s writings hosted in the newspaper “l’Unità” in the period 1985-1992.
- In 2019 three volumes were published using materials and correspondences from the Balducci archives. The first is an essay by Ernesto Balducci on Albert Camus’ journey to Florence and Fiesole and is entitled “Albert Camus nei chiostri fiorentini”; the second volume collects the unpublished letters by David Maria Turoldo to Ernesto Balducci from 1955 to 1980 with the title “La speranza è altrove”. In the third volume is a collection of all the writings of P. Balducci on the Giornale del Mattino and has as its title “Gli scritti ne Il Giornale del Mattino di Ernesto Balducci”.
- In 2020 a volume was published using material from the Balducci archives on the correspondence of letters between Don Giovanni Rossi and Ernesto Balducci entitled “Don Giovanni Rossi e la Pro Civitate Christiana, nel carteggio con Padre Balducci”.
- Research of Father Balducci’s writings in the magazine of the Institution Madonnina del Grappa of Florence “Il Focolare” in the years 1948-1951, with subsequent work of rewriting, editing and printing of the volume.
Activities of promotion and/or cultural organization
- “Death and Resurrection of Christ. Beyond the sacrificial language” 26 March 2015, Church of Badia Fiesolana – Fiesole.
- “Reception as citizenship” February 22, 2017, Sala del Gonfalone of Palazzo del Pegaso – Florence
- “The Florence of La Pira, between Father Balducci and Don Milani”, September 2017.
- “Aldo Moro. Forty years later”, Badia Fiesolana (Fiesole), 19 September 2018.
- Isabetta Belli” National Scholarship I Edition (Award ceremony October 26, 2019), for a thesis on the theme of prisons, with a prize for the winner of € 1000.00; in 2019 38 students from all Italian universities participated.
Conferences and round tables:
- “The rights and second generations of immigrants”, Sala Emeroteca della Badia Fiesolana-Fiesole, 17th June 2015.
- “Francesco D’Assisi and Father Ernesto Balducci”, Sala Gigli of Palazzo Panciatichi, 16 March 2016
- “Not walls but bridges”, with the participation of Card. Gianfranco Ravasi, Sala del Gonfalone del Palazzo del Pegaso – Florence, 24 May 2017.
- “The years of Florentine germination, between realism and utopia” Florence, Auditorium al Duomo, Tuesday, February 27, 2018.
- “The future of democracy”, Sala Affreschi – Badia Fiesolana, with the participation of the Hon. David Sassoli, May 2, 2019.
- “A friend of Father Balducci. Luigi Santucci. Writing as life”, Sala del Gonfalone – Palazzo del Pegaso – Florence, 9 June 2019
- “Giovanni Michelucci – Ernesto Balducci: the city world”, February 20, 2015, Casa Marchini Carrozza – Fiesole.
- “Immigration, second generations, rights”, 20 -21 April 2016 Palazzo Vecchio in Florence and Badia Fiesolana (Fiesole), with the participation of Minister Stefania Giannini, Card. Giuseppe Betori, Bishop of Florence.
- “The Christian meaning of welcome”, with the participation of Mgr. Nunzio Galantino, Secretary General of the CEI, November 10, 2017.
- “Ernesto Balducci. From Santa Fiora to citizen of the world”, Santa Fiora – Palazzo Comunale, Saturday, April 21, 2018.
- “Global world and immigration. The future of religions”, Fiesole – Badia Fiesolana, 15 November 2018.
- “Sport as education for diversity”, Florence – Auditorium Scuole Pie Fiorentine, 15 March 2019.
- Exhibition “Lorenzo Bonechi. The contemplative waiting” from December 5, 2014 to February 18, 2015, Palazzo Ducale in Urbino.
- “Francis of Assisi. Father Balducci and the prophecy of the testimony”. Documentary exhibition from November 27 to December 20, 2015 at Palazzo del Pegaso in Florence and Art Exhibition at Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence from November 27 to December 28, 2015, with works by artists such as Sandro Chia, Mimmo Paladino, Antonio Possenti, Venturino Venturi, Maro Gorky, Ardengo Soffici.
- “The independence of Tuscany by Antonio Possenti”, exhibition of the artist at Palazzo del Pegaso in Florence, from April 28 to May 18, 2016.
- “Quinto Martini with Padre Balducci” from the ‘Frontispiece’ to the ‘Artists’ Mass'” September 2017. Pegaso Palace – Florence
- “Ernesto Balducci. I am but a man”. Drawings, collages and watercolors dedicated to Father Balducci made by the artist Mario Francesconi. Santa Fiora – Palazzo Comunale, Sala del Popolo and Sala del Consiglio, from April 21 to May 30, 2018.
- “A golden bridg for the dialogue among cultures”, Exhibition of the artist Shu Hong, Florence – Palazzo Medici Riccardi, from August 7 to September 5, 2018.
- “My Ethiopia” dedicated to the street children of Addis Ababa – Photographic exhibition.
- Badia Fiesolana, 15 September – 15 October 2018.
- “12 August 1944” Exhibition of drawings dedicated to the massacre of Sant’Anna di Stazzema by the artist Mario Francesconi, with illustrative panels with the writings on Sant’Anna di Stazzema by the writer-journalist Manlio Cancogni. From April 27, 2019 to May 27, 2019, Auditorium Ernesto Balducci di Stazzema (LU).
Presentation of books and meetings with authors:
- Presentation of the volume E. Balducci Il terzo millennio at Sala dell’Ex Carcere delle Murate – Florence, 26 March 2015
- Presentation of the comic strip about Ernesto Balducci “If you want peace prepare peace” at the Library “Ernesto Balducci” of Montespertoli (FI), 11 December 2015
- Presentation of the book “Per la pace una firma mi devi regalare” at the Auditorium of San Casciano val di Pesa (FI), 14 April 2016.
- Presentation and debate of the Docufilm Ernesto Balducci. Planet Earth, common house, in Florence in January 2017 and Santa Fiora (Gr) in April 2017.
- Presentation of volume A. Cecconi, Michele Ranchetti. Faithful to himself, March 2017.
- Presentation of Ernesto Balducci’s volumes published by the San Paolo Publishing Group. Milan – Fair Complex – on the occasion of Milano Libri, Friday 9 March 2018.
- Presentation of Ernesto Balducci’s volumes published by the San Paolo Publishing Group. Florence – Auditorium al Duomo – Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
- Presentation of the volume published by the Ernesto Balducci Foundation “Non muri ma ponti” by Enzo Bianchi – Nunzio Galantino – Gianfranco Ravasi, 18 February 2019, Florence – Biblioteca Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.
- Presentation and debate of the volume published by the Ernesto Balducci Foundation “12 Agosto 1944” in memory of the massacre of St. Anna di Stazzema in the 75th anniversary, S. Anna di Stazzema – Auditorium E. Balducci, April 27, 2019.
- Presentation of the book “Perché il populismo fa male al popolo” by Bartolomeo Sorge and Chiara Tintori, Badia Fiesolana – Fiesole 20 September 2019.
- Presentation of the volume “Il Vangelo e la Vita. Commenti al Vangelo della domenica d’Avvento 1955-1976”, presentation by Dom Bernardo Gianni, Abbot of the Basilica San Miniato al Monte – Florence, December 18, 2019.
- Presentation of the volume “Il mio Concilio Vaticano II”, Badia Fiesolana – Fiesole, 13 January 2020, with Bishop Luigi Bettazzi, Bishop Emeritus of Ivrea.
- Theatrical performance “The Creative Ecumenism of Francis of Assisi and Ernesto Balducci”, Auditorium Scuole Pie Fiorentine in Florence and Istituto Calasanzio in Rome (26 and 27 February 2016).
- Recital “Memory of Father Ernesto Balducci” by and with Paolo Hendel, Santa Fiora, Palazzo Comunale, Sala del Popolo, 21 April 2018.
- Theater show “The planetary Man” by Rosanna Magrini with Stefano Tognarelli, Teatro Comunale di Ponsacco (PI), 15 March 2019.
- “Songs and words for peace”, chorales of adults and white voices in a show where the choirs are interspersed with readings of songs by G. La Pira, Tiziano Terzani, Ernesto Balducci, Mario Luzi, Aldo Capitini. Readings by David Riondino, Daniela Morozzi. Fiesole, Auditorium Comunale, 15 December 2019; Florence, Basilica di San Miniato al Monte, 18 December 2019.
- Lectio Magistralis by Enzo Bianchi: The Other as a gift, May 3, 2017, Palazzo Vecchio – Salone de Cinquecento – Florence
- Lectio by Dom Franco Mosconi, Prior Eremo S. Giorgio (Vr), 27 September 2019 – Church Badia Fiesolana.
Activity referring to 2020-2021
- Search for the unpublished typescripts of Father Balducci kept in the Archives, relating to the correspondence of the Piarist Father with Don Giovanni Rossi, founder of the Pro Civitate Cristiana, and Arturo Carlo Jemolo, Church historian, for their publication in 2021.
- Search for the unpublished typescripts of Father Balducci kept in the Archives, entitled Commentary to St. Paul, “Letters to the Ephesians” for their publication in 2021.
- Publication, by the Foundation, of Balducci’s articles published in the “Giornale del Mattino” in the period 1958-1962, found in the Archives, in order to publish them in 2021.
- Publication, by the Foundation, of Balducci’s writings published in “Al Focolare” in the period 1948-1951, found in the Archives, published in 2020.
- Research of the correspondence Ernesto Balducci – Don Giuseppe Rossi and digitization of texts, year 2020.
The Balducci Foundation has promoted an annual scholarship of € 1000.00. In 2020 will be held the II Edition, to be assigned to a thesis dedicated to the problems of prisons in our country, in ideal continuation with the commitment that was of Father Balducci and many friends, from Gianpaolo Meucci to Mario Gozzini from Alessandro Margara to Silvio Bozzi. That of denouncing and fighting against any abuse or deficiency of the prison system that, in some way, could condition its re-educational and recovery value, beyond justicialist invocations or vindictive intentions, but always with respect for the person and his rights.
Access to the Call for Proposals can be consulted and downloaded on the Balducci Foundation website (www.fondazionebalducci.it).
Conferences and round tables:
- “My Second Vatican Council”, Badia Fiesolana – Fiesole , Conference with Bishop Luigi Bettazzi, January 13, 2020.
- “Peace, Truth, Justice” 2021, Badia Fiesolana-Fiesole, participating among others Vito Mancuso, Marco Vannini, Card. Gualtiero Bassetti.
- “Peace, realism of a utopia”, Palazzo Vecchio – Sala d’Armi, 21 September 2021, on the occasion of the World Day of Peace.
Presentation of books and meetings with authors
- Presentation of the book “Il future delle religioni” with Vannino Chiti (2020)
- Presentation of the book “Pescatori di uomini” by Don Mattia Ferrari and Nello Scavo. (2021)
- Presentation of the book “Ernesto Balducci. Scritti sul Giornale del Mattino” (2021)
Monographic publications (title):
- Francesconi, Mario Francesconi to Ernesto Balducci (Artist’s Book) (2017)
- Cecconi, Don Primo Mazzolari in memory of Ernesto Balducci (2017)
- Balducci, The present future. Writings on the Unit 1985-1992 (2018)
- Bianchi, N. Galantino, G. Ravasi Not walls but bridges” (2018)
- Mosconi, Your face Lord, I seek (2018)
- Cecconi, Father Ernesto Balducci and il Ragguaglio librario nel carteggio con Don Paolo Ratti (2018)
- Balducci, The Gospel of St. John, introduction by Paolo Ricca, (2018).
- Reprint of the Oscar Mondadori edition , 1972
- Balducci, The Church as Eucharist, (2019).
- Reprint of the Queriniana edition, 1970
- 12 August 1944, with writings by Manlio Cancogni, introductions by Maurizio Verona, Mayor of Stazzema, Andrea Cecconi, President of the Balducci Foundation. Illustrations by the artist Mario Francesconi. (2019)
- Balducci, The Gospel and Life, unpublished writings on the homily of Advent (2020)
Series “I libri di Ernesto Balducci”:
- Balducci, Commento a Sant’Agostino (2018)
Balducci Archives’ series:
- Balducci, Cronache dell’anima. Writings in the “Giornale del Mattino” (2019)
- “La speranza è altrove” Letters by David Maria Turoldo to E. Balducci (1975 – 1991), 2019.
- Balducci, Writings in “Al Focolare” 1948-1951, (2020)
- “E. Balducci, Don Giovanni Rossi e la the Pro Civitate Cristiana”, (2020)
Periodicals (title and periodicity):
“Notebooks of the Balducci Foundation”:
- “Quaderni della Fondazione” n.33 Reception and citizenship, (2017)
- “Quaderni della Fondazione” n.34 The the years of florentine germination between realism and utopia, (2017)
- “Quaderni della Fondazione” n.35, Environment and Law in Laudato yes (2018)
- “Notebooks of the Foundation” n. 36, Global World and the Future of Religions (2018)
- “Quaderni della Fondazione” Supplementi, The future of Democracy (2019) with speeches by Andrea Cecconi, President of the Balducci Foundation, Vannino Chiti, essayist, Andrea Orlando, former Minister of Justice, Giuseppe Grazzini, University of Florence, David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament.