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In memory of Chiara Lubich - From Loreto to the World

In memory of Chiara Lubich, the meritorious citizenship of Loreto was conferred on Maria Voce, President of the Focolare

1939-2009  In memory of Chiara Lubich - From Loreto to the World

091025_Loreto_Maria_Voce"This is a big moment for the city of Loreta", but also "for all who share the project that Chiara Lubiich had at heart: linking institutions and politics to spirituality". These were the first few lines with which Moreno Pieroni, mayor of Loreto, opened the October 25th ceremony for the conferral of the meritorious citizenship in memory of the foundress of the Focolare Movement, in the hands of the current president, Maria Voce.

The ceremony at Palacongressi was held before religious and civil authorities, among whom numerous mayors of the region, and with a local and international public due to the participation of the directors of the Focolare. The mayor remembered the current and profound nature of the "spiritual, cultural and operative message" of Chiara Lubich, "her movement centered on the ideal of fraternity, the impulse which she gave to politics, the economy, pedagogy, and the various spheres of society, to the dialogue she opened with humanity, going beyond differences of race, religion and culture". He then shared his hope that "she may be an example above all for those who work in the political world".

091025_Loreto_sala_ridThe recognition - as shown in the motivation of the conferral - precipitates "on the 70th anniversary of (Chiara Lubich´s) first visit in the holy lauretana house", where "she had the first intuition of a new way in the Church: the Focolare", which he defined as "heart of a communitarian spirituality, the spirituality of unity, now spread throughout all continents".  

Then nineteen years old, the strong spiritual experience that Chiara lived in that "house" - which by tradition had welcomed the extraordinary family of Nazareth - resounded again in Palacongressi, through her words expressed in an intense artist moment. "Chiara´s intuition looks like an intervention by God, who precedes the times and who does not give rational explanations", said Maria Voce. "When the divine breaks into history, it isn´t accompanied by the blaring of trumpets, but arrives quietly as it did in Nazareth". It´s an experience that sets itself in history and "joins simple faithful and saints who, between those walls, received the revelation of God´s plan for their lives and there pronounced their "Here I am". The archbishop of Loreto, Giovanni Tonucci, highlighted the fact that "among the walls that witnessed the Incarnation of the Son of God, arose in Chiara that intuition from which opens infinite horizons", that wait to be widened and carried out by all those who have gathered her inheritance".

091025_Loreto_EmmausThe Focolare´s President remembered that this new spiritual family that had been born in the Church had precisely been modeled on that of the family of Nazareth. The new way intuited by Chiara in Loreto is that "reciprocal love measured by a total gift of self", the law of Heaven brought by Jesus, and "has it´s first reflection on Earth in that extraordinary family of Nazareth". Eli Folonari, who lived with Chiara for more than 50 years, showed the fruits: "The new relationship that is created among people makes it possible to experience the presence of the divine". And this experience truly "recalls that presence of Jesus in the house of Loreto", as he promised in the Gospel: "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them". "Another way in which Jesus presents himself today".

Two examples of the renewing strength that originates from these spiritual roots were presented by an economist and a political scientist, Luigino Bruni and Antonio Maria Baggio, both university professors. In economics, to contribute to heal the deep divide between the rich and poor, said Prof. Bruni, Chiara “did not activate solidarity funds, but aimed at changing the very heart of the economic system": production businesses, according to a precise project, the economy of communion.

In the political field, Prof. Baggio showed how universal fraternity taken on as a political category, introduces trust into the lacerated social fabric, rebuilding it. It is an experience which was also begun two years ago in Loreto, as Mayor Pieroni again remembered. At that time, the city adhered to a network that links municipalities of various Italian cities who are all committed to give life to initiatives "for peace, human rights, social justice and universal fraternity" - a project which goes by the name of "Cities for Fraternity".


The following audio selections are in Italian.

Listen to Luigino Bruni on the EoC (1)

Listen to Antonio Maria Baggio (2)

Listen to Luigino Bruni and Antonio M. Baggio (3)

Listen to the conclusion by Luigino Bruni (4)



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