Agostino Gemelli e Armida Barelli: un progetto per l’Italia

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Agostino Gemelli and Armida Barelli: a project for Italy

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The essay analyses the strong bond between Father Agostino Gemelli and Armida Barelli, who were deeply committed to a project that would prove to have far-reaching secular and ecclesiastical repercussions. Drawing inspiration from Franciscan values, enhanced by their devotion to the “Society of the Sacred Heart”, they synergised their aim to evangelise the culture and desire to promote the modernisation of Italy. This work outlines the most important results of this synergy, from the foundation of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore to the Opera della Regalità, whose aim was to increase the liturgical awareness of Italians. Gemelli and Barelli then worked on consecrated laity, thus anticipating the foundation of secular institutes. Barelli, in particular, was responsible for creating the women’s chapter of Catholic Action (Gioventù femminile di Azione Cattolica), which she chaired for several decades. The association was able to make full use of the educational resources of Università del Sacro Cuore and in turn it strengthened the financial assets of the university throughout Italy. It should be highlighted that Gioventù femminile significantly contributed to modernising the mentality and lifestyle of many young Italian girls, involving them in a plan that transcended the social and cultural boundaries within which women were still confined. In fact, Barelli focused on the role that women can play in contemporary society and contributed ̶ through GF ̶ to enhancing the life of Italian girls, safeguarding them from isolation, religious ignorance as well as social and civil irrelevance.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Agostino Gemelli and Armida Barelli: a project for Italy
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)35-64
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Agostino Gemelli
  • Armida Barelli
  • Gioventù femminile
  • Missionarie della regalità di Cristo
  • Università Cattolica


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