The adventure of a poor Christian

“The new rich rarely feel full.

Original theatrical text, out of the usual literary production of Ignazio Silone, but without giving way to a lower quality of the work. Winner of the Campiello Prize in 1968, the book collects the best of the author’s intimate poetic house, digging with his bare hands into one of the themes most dear to him: the relationship between man and the Church. To do this he makes use of the story of one of the most famous and disruptive figures in the millenary history of Catholicism, known by all and deepened by few; the one who, with his great refusal, represented more than his predecessors and successors, the only bridge between earth and sky: Celestino V.

The story, although based on a true story, with solid historiographical foundations from Silone’s patient research work, opens up to very plausible dialogues and considerations, or so at least we like to think of it.

Pietro da Morrone is told in his triple capacity as a hermit savior of Catholicism, when his appointment put an end to the discussions between the cardinals gathered in Perugia after more than two years of conclave; of pope forced to face the moods of the Roman curia divided between Orsini, Caetani and Colonna; and finally a fugitive, hunted together with his brothers by Boniface VIII, before being imprisoned in Fumone.

We appreciated the reflections that accompany many dialogues, even the simplest reverberate unexpected theological depths. Can living following the purest precepts of the Christian message to the letter be considered more just than those who live by accepting the compromises necessary to guide the Church as an institution and save the souls that depend on it? Certainly we are not able to answer such a question.

We said at the beginning that the theatrical choice is a rarity in Silone’s works, therefore the descriptions of the places and characters, even from the character point of view, are reduced to the bare minimum, leaving much to the imagination of the reader / spectator, who feels more involved in the story being told.


Ignazio Silone, The adventure of a poor Christian, Mondadori, Milano, 1968


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