Focolare Marks 2 Years Since Founder

Officials From Curia Join in Celebrating Her Legacy

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By Marine Soreau
 
ROME, MARCH 18, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Catholic lay Focolare movement observed the second anniversary of the March 14 death of Chiara Lubich, who founded the group in 1943.

L'Osservatore Romano also dedicated several articles to Lubich in its Sunday and Tuesday editions.

In Rome, the current president of the movement, Maria Voce, recalled Lubich's life, marked by her great desire for unity.

"We celebrate a life, a life for unity that began with Chiara Lubich, bearer of an obvious and great gift of God, who wishes to continue bearing fruit from one end of the earth to the other for the benefit of the whole of humanity," Voce said at a conference held Sunday in Rome in Lubich's honor.
 
"This life is expressed in the thousands of concrete realizations of the spirituality of unity that she has left us," Voce added.
 
During the conference, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, also recalled the founder as "a figure who profoundly marked the life of the Church and of the world in the 20th century."
 
She was "a great sign of hope, with the different charisms inspired by the Holy Spirit in the Church of today," he affirmed.

The president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, reflected on "the wisdom" and "the unity" on which Lubich's existence was based.
 
In a Mass on Saturday in her memory, the archbishop referred to wisdom as "a great gift of God that needs intelligence, but above all a great charge of humanity, a great capacity to give meaning, to give flavor to existence."
 
Referring to unity, he said it does not only mean "being next to one another," but experiencing "that I am in you and you in me as the Gospel says": a unity that is "communion."
 
He concluded his homily with Lubich's prayer: "I love you because you have entered my life more than air in my lungs, more than blood in my veins. You have entered where no one could enter, when no one could help me, every time that no one could console me. Each time I have read the explanation in your words, the solution in your love."