08/19/2015, 00.00
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Pope Francis: Frère Roger was a guide for young people in their journey of spiritual quest

The pope sends a message to the Taizé community, which is celebrating three anniversaries: the 75th anniversary of its foundation, the centenary of the birth of its founder, Frère Roger, and the tenth anniversary of the latter’s death. He was an example of witness and faith up to his violent death. His community is fundamental in building bridges among Christians.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Taizé Community, which falls tomorrow, 20 August, in the centenary year of the birth of its founder, Frère Roger Schutz, and the tenth anniversary of his death, Pope Francis sent the following message to Frère Alois and the community. Translated from the French by AsiaNews:

To Frère Alois

and the whole Taizé community,

In this year in which the Taizé community celebrates three anniversaries, the 75th of its foundation, the centenary of the birth of Frère Roger and the tenth anniversary of the latter’s death, I join your thanksgiving to God, that He may always generate new faithful witnesses up to the end. I entrusted to my venerable brother, Cardinal Kurt Koch, the task to pass on to you, to you and all the members of your community, the expression of my affection.

In 2012, during the European meeting organised by the Taizé community, Pope Benedict XVI described Frère Roger as “a tireless witness of the gospel of peace and reconciliation, animated by fire for an ecumenism of holiness” (address of 29 December 2012). 

This fire drove him to found a community that can be considered a true "parable of communion”, which to date has played such an important role in building bridges of brotherhood among Christians.

Passionately seeking the unity of the Church, the Body of Christ, Frère Roger opened the treasures deposited in the various Christian traditions, without completely breaking with his Protestant origins. With the perseverance he demonstrated during his long life, he helped to change the relations among still-separated Christians, tracing for many a path of reconciliation.

Nurtured by the Holy Scriptures, Frère Roger made extensive reference to the teachings of the Church Fathers. He even went as far back as the sources of Christianity and could make the latter topical to young people.

Frère Roger was able to understand the younger generation. He had confidence in them. He turned Taizé into a meeting place where young people from around the world felt respected and accompanied in their journey of spiritual quest.

Frère Roger loved the poor, the dispossessed, those who, apparently, did not matter. He showed, through his life and that of his brothers, that prayer goes hand in hand with human solidarity.

I give thanks to God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for the gift of the life of Frère Roger, including his violent death. May the Taizé community always maintain the very powerful testimony Frère Roger gave to the risen Christ and the call he constantly renewed to "choose to love”.

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