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10th Mountain Division and Father Murphy Monument

<< Back to Lizzano Pistoiese


In front of the entrance to the town church.


A brass sculpture of Saul (Paul) falling in his conversion experience mounted to a stone pedestal with a brass inscribed plaque.


Sergeant John J. Murphy served in the 10th Mountain Division and his unit was resting in Lizzano Pistiose in April 1945 when Murphy had his fist calling to become a priest.  The monument was dedication in 1988 with Father (Monsignor) Murphy and 250 other 10th Mountain veterans. The monument remembers Monsignor Murphy’s calling as well as all the fallen of the 10th Mountain Division on the Gothic Line 1945.


From Pro-Loco Lizzano Website:



LIZZANO PISTOIESE: a tranquil mountain village facing the sun on the slope rising above La Lima. It lies in the shelter of the great  appenine  chain dominated  by the unique "Open Book".  Saturday, june 4 (1988)," Lizzano will host a peace initiatìve  nurtered by the memory of the suffering of the last world war; a war which sumed never-ending a war which still evokes the dark images of destruction and death. From the dark autumn of 1944 through the rigours of winter, until the spring Line 1945, the soldiers of opposing sides fought along the imaginary "GOTHIC  LINE". This is where they passed their last war-time Christmas, living out their hopes and dreaming of their homes and loved ones. 

Now, after many years, decanted by hostilities, we have re-evoked a sac page in history in the hope of uniting, as if there were no winners and losers, all these who here on these mountains suffered and died in the name of peace and fraternity. It is here that Sergeant John Murphy stopped with his fellow-soldiers of the allied troops 10" Mountain Division of the 5 Army. Here, in Lizzano, in the silence of the church, in his conversation with the parish priest, it the warmth of an affectionate reception, Monsignor Murphy felt his first calling to the church. Now, John, Priest and Monsignor, together with 250 survivors of his division, has returned to the mountains of his youth. He has returned not to recall the war but to piedge bis commitment to peace. It is with this intention towards peace and brotherhood that the Pistoiese Mountain Community,



Monument Text:

La conversione di Saulo

Alla parrocchia di Lizzano pistoiese 

l'opera di un grande artista Marcello Tommasi del gruppo artistico fiorentino Donatello

la Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze 

offre nel ricordo della vocazione sacerdotale del sergente americano John Murphy 

e dei Caduti della X divisione da montagna della V armata.


Linea gotica 1945

04 giugno 1988


The translation in English:


The conversion of Saul

To the Parish of Lizzano Pistoiese

A work by the great artist Marcello Tommasi of the Artistic Florentine Grupo Donatello


The Bank of Florence

Offers in remembrance of the priestly vocation of the American Sergeant John Murphy

And the fallen of the 10th Mountain Division of the 5th Army


Gothic Line 1945

4 June 1988



John J. Murphy


10th Mountain Division

5th Army




Gothic Line

Italian Campaign

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