The story of a friendship imbued with gratuity and founded on love for God.
“When the Germans left Rome in 1944, one day I found myself in the countryside, without the hope of seeing a cart, a quadruped, let alone a car pass, to return to the city. As I walked down the long road, a staggered truck came by, driven by a priest, who, between rough and friendly, without telling me so many stories made me understand that he was happy to ride me on his rickety vehicle, a remnant of war. A friendship was immediately established between us, which never ended. The priest's name was Don Zeno: Over time I learned the surname: Saltini. "
With this story the writer Igino Giordani remembers the first meeting with Don Zeno. From this simple gesture of solidarity a lasting and frank relationship is born: a type of deep bond typical of spiritually elevated souls, imbued with that gratuitousness which finds its foundation only in divine Love. Thanks also to the help of Giordani, Fr Zeno manages to obtain the permits and aids necessary to restart Nomadelfia in the former concentration camp of Fossoli in 1947. So thanks Fr Zeno: "Dear Igino, this time Heaven has you wanted to prefer to be the Guide to lead me to crush Satan ... and so he won Jesus in his children. Thank you. [...] "
A relationship surely marked by search for Truth, supporting each other in painful moments. Don Zeno recounts, recalling the difficulties confided to him by Igino, then a member of the DC, before some choices of his party:
"Once I came away from the palace of deputies and we are right in Piazza Colonna: I am very close to him, he is a man of Igino Giordani spirit. Everything is angry.
-What's going on with you?"
- You know, De Gasperi came, they made the session of the party's (parliamentary) group and said that the Atlantic Pact is unfair, but that we must sign it. I stood up, got angry. If it is unfair why do I have to sign it? I am here to do the right things; if you already know it's unfair, why do i have to sign it? [...] Believe me, I have never been so bad in conscience as I am now. Everyone tells me: you have to keep hard, you have to resist, you have to stay there. I'm there ... "
With these few words you can see the spiritual greatness of Igino, man of God, who in turn will stay with his priest friend even in the darkest moments, especially when, in '53, Don Zeno was secularized. And in 1962, on the occasion of his return to the exercise of the priesthood, he will not fail to communicate his joy to him:
“Dearest Don Zeno, allow me to rejoice with you and with the whole Church for the feast of the first return mass. Return ...: but you never went out: you loved and love the Church and the Lord too much in the poor ... What a joy! I kiss your hands, Igino Giordani "
Don Zeno's response testifies to this great friendship:
“Dear Igino, I answer your letter that you sent me fraternally and cordially on the occasion of the feast of January 22nd.
It came to me very welcome, then with the others I put it on hold to answer you by assuring you that on the occasion of the answer I would have remembered you in a particular way in the Holy Mass, which I did this morning.
I know you are doing many beautiful things, as you have always done and I congratulate you by thanking the Lord. Accept my priestly blessing with much affection
Your D. Zeno "
The appreciation of reciprocal experiences is also found in a long article written by Igino for "Città Nuova" which, explaining the experience of Nomadelfia, ends thus: "Thus, in simplicity, a coexistence that is a communion persists and develops: Christian rectification of atheist communism. It arouses a life of the Church: it raises the Church.. Here I would like to praise man, but I look carefully at it; you never know, on meeting me, you could - with your eyes only, and with all love, of course - chastise me with a judo stroke. "
But the most profound synthesis of this friendship can perhaps be found in a greeting card sent by Don Zeno to Igino on Christmas '67:
"Always" unum ", Don Zeno."
Right from "Ut unum sint" (so that they are one) pronounced by Jesus during the last supper we take inspiration because the cooperation between these two Charisms united, next May 10, from the visit of Pope francescomay it flourish and bear fruit, confident that our founders will bless us from Heaven.