Filippo Andrea VI Doria Pamphilj first Mayor of liberated Rome, 1944-2024

Filippo Andrea VI Doria Pamphilj first Mayor of liberated Rome, 1944-2024
10 June 2024 Alessandra Mercantini

This year marks 80 years since the liberation of Rome from Nazi-fascism. On June 4th 1944, the first units of the United Nations Allied Armies entered Rome.

A few days later, on June 10th 1944, with the favourable mediation of the National Liberation Committee, Prince Filippo Andrea VI Doria Pamphilj, a renowned anti-fascist and philanthropist, was chosen by the Allies to lead the city of Rome.

Prince Doria Pamphilj formed a Council in which all the parties of the NLC and their best members were included, and where everyone committed to an apolitical Peace programme, with the aim to tackle all the emergencies created by the war, and to rapidly ensure the material and civil reconstruction of the city. 

On June 13th, the day of his inauguration as Mayor of the City of Rome, he delivered his commencement speech from Michelangelo’s balcony on the Capitoline Hill, which famously ended with an appeal to brotherhood in Roman dialect: ‘Da romano ai romani, volemose bene!’ (“as a Roman to Romans, let us love one another/live in peace”).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the speech he delivered from the loggia of the Palazzo Senatorio, greeted by an enthusiastic applause from the crowd in the square below:

In assuming the restored office of Mayor of our city of Rome and in addressing my first greeting to you, my fellow citizens, I would like, first of all, to raise our unanimous expression of devout gratitude to Divine Providence for the benefits reportedly bestowed, even in such a troubled period, to this City, namely by having preserved it, through the work of His immeasurable mercy, from the deadliest and most destructive consequences of the battle that took place, for very long months, in its immediate vicinity and ended at its gates. Simultaneously, our grateful thoughts go to our Venerable Bishop, the Supreme Pontiff Pius XII, to whose pressing and incessant intercessions Rome certainly owes its safety and through whose many rescue missions so much suffering and pain was alleviated. But our expressions of gratitude would be void of sincerity if they were an end to themselves without being corroborated by a conduct of life inspired by the teachings of He who with such generous insistence tirelessly points us towards our temporal and spiritual good. Today we begin a first step on the road to the reconquest, for all citizens, of their own and civic freedoms. The enduring contingencies of war do not allow these to be totally restored: but it is perhaps not a bad thing that this restoration must take place gradually so that we know how to make use of this forced period of preparation to allow that spirit which is necessary for the full development and enjoyment of the true state of freedom to mature within us. And in the process to reach such a state let us remember that in order for the word Freedom to reach its full expression of efficiency for the common and general good, it must be accompanied by the words Duty and Responsibility. Let each of us, therefore, in accordance with our abilities and conditions, endeavour to faithfully perform our duty with a full sense of the responsibility that, in this task, each one bears towards himself and towards his fellow citizens: if this is the spirit that will assist us in our daily toil for freedom, we will find a well-prepared soil to put down our roots in the good season.

In assuming the Office entrusted to me, I know that I will have to face problems of tremendous magnitude: I will get to work trusting in the help of Divine Providence. To you, my fellow citizens, I ask to collaborate in this task, faithfully fulfilling your duty as citizens. After these days of understandable exultation, let us all return to our work, let us observe the laws, let us, in all circumstances, maintain a demeanour of serene dignity. And then let us endeavour to keep alive in our hearts a spirit of fraternal charity towards one another, let us take pity on those who suffer, let us come to the aid of those in need, let us be honest and upright in the performance of our activities, both public and private, and let us help one another to endure the inevitable hardships of this moment. And allow me to summarise my appeal for a spirit of civic and brotherly love, and for a sincere desire for mutual understanding and harmony of souls to which, I am sure, the memory of so many of our dead commits us, in two words addressed as a Roman to Romans: Volemose bene!