MANILA, February 15, 2015 – Seven years after Chiara Lubich’s death, founder of Focolare Movement, on March 14, 2008, members of the Focolare Movement in the Philippines, and in other countries were jubilant following the opening of the cause of beatification and canonization of Chiara Lubich at the Cathedral of Frascati in Rome, Italy on January 27.
The Focolare Movement Philippines and of the world and all who draw inspiration from her saintly life were glued to the live streaming of opening of the said cause of beatification translated in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
The Holy Father sent a surprise message on the opening of the cause of beatification and canonization of Chiara Lubich addressed to Msgr. Raffaello Martinelli, Bishop of Frascati: “On the occasion of the Opening of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Chiara Lubich, that is taking place at the Cathedral of Frascati, His Holiness
Pope Francis sends his cordial greetings, in the hope that the luminous exemplary life of the Founder of the Focolare Movement may inspire in those who conserve her precious spiritual legacy to renew their faithful adherence to Christ and their generous service to Church unity. The Holy Father invokes abundant gifts of the divine Spirit on all those who are committed in the Postulation and exhorts you to make known to the people of God her life and works. She welcomed the invitation of the Lord and enkindled a new light for the Church on the journey towards unity.”
In a news article at focolare.org, the official website of the Focolare Movement, Bishop Martinelli expressed that the cause of Chiara’s beatification is to serve the Church giving witness to love and requires such an effort.
In the focolare.org website, it is said that the phase of the diocesan investigation of the life of Chiara Lubich will be headed by Bishop Angelo Amati, Episcopal Delegate, to be assisted by Rev. Emmanuele Faweh Kazah, as the Promoter of Justice, and by notary Patrizia Sabatini, who had already worked to collate fifty testimonials for the cause.
It further said that the postulation commission designated by Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement comprises the postulator, Fr. Silvestre Marques, and the Vice-Postulators, Lucia Abignente and Waldery Hilgeman.
In January 1997, Lubich was conferred the doctorate in theology “honoris causa” by the former rector of University of Santo Tomas (UST), Rev. Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P.
During a Schillebeeckx lecture series on interreligious dialogue recently held at the University of Santo Tomas, Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., shared in his welcome remarks that he was inspired by Lubich’s words: “What hurts me is mine,” which he said can be applied to contemporary interreligious dialogue.
Referring to the same words of Lubich, Fr. de la Rosa added, “For me, these words say that peace begins when we realize that all the sufferings and pains we endure are often of our own making. It is only by this pain that we develop a sense of belonging to the human family broken by sin and its consequences, and which enables us to dialogue with others in humility, reverence, and freedom.”
A prayer for intercession of Chiara Lubich reminds the faithful of the Focolare Movement’s charism of unity and her life of holiness. It says: “Eternal Father, source of Love, of every light and goodness, we give You thanks for the charism of unity given to Chiara and for the remarkable testimony of it she gave to the Church and humanity, remaining faithful to Jesus Forsaken.” (Vanessa M. Puno/ CBCP News)