Mount Labro and the Giurisdavidic movement

Mount Labro (1,190 meters above sea level) rises to the south-west side of Mount Amiata. It is part of a natural reserve with limited forest vegetation, although chestnut trees, elms, hazelnut trees, and maples grow in this area. Breeding and traditional cultivation are typical of this place. Many species of animal can be seen, in addition to mammals such as wild cats, skunks, stone martens, pine martens, and badgers.

Mount Labbro is famous because David Lazzaretti, founder of the Giurisdavidic movement in 1870, chose it as a devotional place. Some visible signs of this movement still exist: a tower, a grotto carved into the rock, a cross, and a bell. Sometimes during the night if August 14, the few followers of the Giurisdavidic Church still gather here in memory of the founder.

Lazzaretti (1834-1878), a cart driver of Arcidosso, was considered by some a “Saint”, by others a unlettered visionary socialist. He has now been reconsidered as a person who represented a delicate historical time when the State and the Church were allies in the repression that led to the assassination of David and tens of his followers.

His sacrifice was reinterpreted afterwards, in the pages of history and justice, as a mystic, peaceful attempt of uprising by the lower classes, crushed by taxes and often unacceptable social restrictions that the Catholic institutions were not able to manage and lead.

David Lazzaretti’s movement, a rudimentary Catholic-Communist organization supported by the peasants of Mount Amiata, was studied deeply by important religion historians, such as Rasmussen, Donini, and Moscato; writers, such as Guy De Maupassant, Lazzareschi, Gadda, and Arrigo Petacco; philosophers and politicians, such as Eric Hobsbawm, Antonio Gramsci, and Ernesto Balducci. Thanks to their contribution, the mystic adventure of “the Amiata Prophet” is now considered a genuine social protest, born from poor economic conditions in the Tuscan countryside after the unification of Italy in 1860 and looking for change by divine revelation led by the great charisma of David Lazzaretti.

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