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    » 03/14/2008, 00.00

    ITALY- ASIA

    Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement, has died



    She was a protagonist of the Churches rebirth before and after the Second Vatican Council. Her movement is committed to inter-religious and ecumenical dialogue on a global scale.

    Rome (AsiaNews) – Chiara Lubich, founder of the Work of Mary, better known as the Focolare Movement, died at 2 am this morning in here home in Rocca di Papa, close to Rome.  She returned home yesterday evening, at her express wish, after a lengthy stay at Gemelli hospital.

    A press release issued by the Movement states that “in a serene and intensely moving atmosphere of prayer, at the age of 88 Chiara Lubich concluded her earthly journey”.

     “All day yesterday” – continues the release,  – “hundreds of people - relatives, close collaborates and her spiritual children – passed through her room to bid her a final farewell, before gathering in the nearby chapel, and around the house in prayer.  An uninterrupted and spontaneous procession.  To some, Chiara was even able to signal understanding, despite her extreme weakness”.

    Chiara Lubich (baptised Silvia) was born in Trento on January 22nd 1920.  After an childhood marked by poverty, during the Second Word War, she decided to dedicate herself to God and instinctively follow a “new path” in the Church, of lay consecration and a community founded on love, which reflects the “family of Nazareth”.

    After a period of hostility and difficulty with the ecclesial hierarchy of the time, in 1964 Chiara was received for the first time by the Pope, then Paul VI, who recognised the movement as "A work of God”. From then on private and public papal audiences – with Paul VI and then John Paul II – multiplied, as well as their interventions during international events.

    Pope Wojtyla recognised the guidelines of the Council in the Focolare Movement as well as an expression of the “radicalism of love” in its charisma.

    Meanwhile the influence of the Movement was spreading throughout the Catholic Church and in other Christian churches, in particular the Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches.

    Averting the new challenges of an increasingly multicultural and multi religious society, in the 70’s, along with her Movement she established relations with figures and movements in diverse religions: Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Hindu. In 1994 she was nominated honorary president of the World Council of Religions for Peace (WCRP).

     

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    See also

    23/01/2015 INDIA
    Indian bishop: Beatification of Chiara Lubich, new impetus to interreligious dialogue in Asia
    Msgr. Felix Machado comments on the announcement of the cause of beatification of the founder of the Focolare Movement. A "simple, direct, holy woman, who worked for the human family". Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists on the continent appreciate her work.

    18/03/2008 VATICAN-ITALY
    For the Pope Chiara Lubich was a kind messenger of hope and peace
    Thousands of people take part in the funeral of the founder of the Focolore movement. Talking about her Cardinal Bertone said that she devoted herself to lighting the fire of God’s love in people’s heart. Leaders from Catholic movements, other Christian denominations and other religions are present at the ceremony.

    14/03/2008 ITALY - ASIA
    Chiara Lubich told me: God has great plans for the Chinese people
    Memories of the founder of the Focolare movement, in the words of a PIME missionary. The missionary impulse of the Work of Mary now counts two million members in more than 180 countries. These even include personalities from other religions. In spite of the apparent contradictions, the Love of God builds human history. The "Promised Land" of China.

    12/03/2007 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Putin-Pope, for the Moscow Patriarchate “only a state visit”
    Tomorrow the Russian President will make his first visit to Benedict; officials of the Russian Orthodox Church underline that it is “only a meeting between two heads of state”. However the Nuncio to the Russian Federation speaks of “ecumenical progress”.

    16/10/2004 VATICAN – POPE
    The Churches of Asia join the Pope in celebrating 26 years of pontificate




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