It's been six years since the founder of the Focolare Movement, Chiara Lubich, passed away. To honor her life and legacy more than 250 people from all walks of life came to Rome, including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs.
Many of them met her and even worked with her as she led her tireless efforts in promoting inter-religious unity.
"There are people on earth who just shine this light from within. It's a light that highlights the divine. Everyone has a different name for it, but it's that sensation that you have to share your spiritual gifts with others. Chiara was generous and she understood this. She knew that she could transform that light and share it with others.”
Recently the Pope welcomed a group of about 20 representatives of different faiths, who came to Rome to attend inter-religious conferences. During a general audience, he set time aside to greet them.
"I also want to send a greeting to members of the Focolare Movement, who are visiting Rome for an inter-religious conference.”
The greeting was short, but it made some of the visitors feel welcome, including those who are not Christian.
"I have read much about St. Francis of Assisi and St. Francis of Assisi lived a very simple life of poverty. Then I saw the Holy Father and I remember that because his simplicity and detachment. We have read about his simplicity so many times in the newspapers and I was impressed by him because for the Hindus detachment is a very important value.”
BHAI SAHIB MOHINDER SINGH
"The Pope for me is a Holy person. He's a blessed soul. The Pope is sitting on the Seat of St. Peter so there is a long line of legacy that he is carrying. And what happens when you meet a Holy person?You're reminded of God Almighty.”
The Focolare movement organized the gathering to honor Chiara Lubich and her call for inter-religious dialogue that could overcome prejudice.
ALLAL BACHAR EL HOSRI
"The problems with some religions is that some people have a mental war, be it Christians, Jews, Muslims etc. We've had enough of this and we want to remove this bias and introduce God as He is. He is gracious, merciful. He is love.”
Chiara Lubich founded the Focolare Movement in 1943. Today it has a presence in more than 180
countries. Its members work to make the dream of its founder a reality: A world based on respect and unity.