Sturzo, Luigi(lo͞oē`jē sto͞or`tsō), 1871–1959, Italian priest and political leader. He taught philosophy and sociology at a seminary in his native Sicily. In 1919 he founded the Popular (Roman Catholic) party and became its political secretary. In the elections of Nov., 1919, the new party secured about one fifth of the seats in parliament and became an important force in Italian politics. After the rise of Fascism Sturzo was forced to live in exile, first in England and later in the United States; his party was officially banned. It was revived, however, after Benito Mussolini's downfall and renamed the Christian Democratic party. Sturzo returned to Italy after World War II and in 1952 was made a senator for life.
Born Nov. 26, 1871, in Caltagirone, Sicily; died Aug. 8, 1959, in Rome. Italian priest and sociologist; a leader in Catholic movements.
Sturzo was prominent in the Christian democratic movement, a left-wing Catholic movement, from 1896 to 1905 and organized Catholic associations of workers, tenant farmers, and students. He served as deputy mayor of the city of Caltagirone from 1905 to 1920, vice-president of the Association of Italian Municipalities from 1912 to 1924, and secretary of Italian Catholic Action from 1915 to 1917. Sturzo was one of the main organizers in 1919 of Partito Popolare (Popular Party), the first mass Catholic party in Italy, and was its political secretary from 1919 to 1923. From 1924 to 1946 he lived as an emigré in Paris, London, and New York, where he engaged in antifascist activity. Sturzo founded the International Christian Democratic Union in 1940 and was its vice-president after World War II (1939–45). Upon his return to his homeland, he was named a senator for life.