Pietro Maffi, Cardinal, Archbishop of Pisa and acknowledged astronomer, as well as ardent patriot and patron of the Catholic movement, died in 1931. His figure, formerly highly popular among both the clergy and the laymen, is still reminded in the public speech of the Italian Catholics. Since the Thirties, the curators of Maffi memory would regularly stress the aspects of his life and personality more suitable for the political and ecclesial requirements of the moment: at the obsequies, his patriotic commitment during the Great War; on the centennial of his birth (1958), his fierce opposition to the Left; on the fiftieth anniversary of his death, his broad-mindedness toward science; on the 150th of his birth, his charitable activity in favor of those in need. Rather different at first glance, these commemorations had in common the purpose of a re-Christianization of society (indeed a long-term worry of the ecclesiastical institution since the French revolution) and witness to the memory policy promoted by the Church.
Keywords: Catholic Church, commemorations, memory policy, Catholic public speech, re- Christianization of society