When two days ago David Sassoli he understood that the situation was getting worse, he questioned the doctor who was assisting him asking him how much time still remained to live. The answer was what it could not be and then David picked up the phone and called the two children. He wanted them with him in the most difficult moment, with the cross in his heart that he could not even have beloved wife, quarantined for Covid. So David entered into death with open eyes, as Emperor Hadrian told us Margherite Youcenar, and with courage he reviewed his life from the bottom, reuniting everything in the perspective of the values that have always guided him.
David was a journalist, a politician, a great pro-European, but above all he has always remained, a young Florentine born and raised in the school of Christian principles by Don Milani, Giorgio La Pira and David Maria Turoldo, and everything, from personal reflection to the profession of journalist to Europe, has been an uninterrupted straight line that united solidarity, defense of the weakest, human, social and political rights. In his inauguration speech to the European parliament in July 2019, these were the keywords. In his idea, Europe was not an entity in itself but existed to affirm the reasons of the weakest, like the state, the public good, the political community were for Don Milani and Giorgio La Pira the means in which people born with less chance were protected.
We had met him one of the last times in the Salone dei Cinquecento in Florence, when Dario Nardella had given him the keys to the city, which he had welcomed with joy a little because he still felt Florentine, tied to the city by the presence of his mother and other relatives, partly because he felt a strong sense of belonging to that cultural tradition of openness which in the 1950s and 1960s made Florence one of the world capitals of progressive Catholicism, pre and post conciliar, of which he considered himself the son. And it was a little bit so, given that his name was David Maria precisely in homage to David Maria Turoldo, a priest of the poor, one of the protagonists of that era of great fervor and both ecclesial and social renewal. He had learned a great deal from all this. The human and political impact that David transmitted was precisely that of a person with solid foundations of values, planted in the wake of a strong family tradition and transmitted with sure passion by his father Domenico, a journalist of the People who had moved from Florence to Rome. Thus also the political adventure that characterized the second part of his life, his gray areas, the inevitable compromises, had never managed to scratch anything of his past, his education, his certainties. Each synthesis was never downward and in Davide everything was transformed into a maximum common multiple and never a minimum common denominator.
The look up rather than forward gave him the tools to do well also in an assignment that is theoretically much bigger than him, that of president of the European parliament, to which he arrived only with two legislatures behind him, and which he faced in a non-trivial way and in difficult years. The post Brexit and the pandemic, the years that could bury Europe or decree its relaunch, and in which Sassoli affirmed the pro-European values even when everything seemed to fall apart. Its the stubbornness of make parliament work during the first and second lockdowns, his decision to insist that the treaties be changed and the legislative initiative granted to the parliament on a par with the commission. A lucidity and clarity of behavior who guided him to the end, and when his faith and courage reserved for him that privilege of the great which is precisely to enter death with open eyes, he certainly regretted a detachment so unfairly and absurdly premature, but just as certainly it will have given him the satisfaction of not having spent his days in vain. Hi Davide, may the earth be light to you.