Informed personally about her state of health by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, the Holy Father wished to express his "human and spiritual closeness," stated a communiqué issued by the Focolare movement.
The note explained that "the condition of the founder of the Focolarini is stabilizing progressively."
Lubich was hospitalized Nov. 2 in the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic of Rome, and was suffering from "respiratory insufficiency caused by a pulmonary infection ... The medical treatment continues," added the communiqué.
Chiara Lubich, born in Trento, Italy, in 1920, founded the Focolare Movement -- "Mary's Work" -- in 1943 in her native city. The movement is active in 182 countries.