She was a woman, and a lay person, but still she managed to have one of the biggest impacts in the modern day Church. Her name was Chiara Lubich and in 1943 she founded one of the biggest movements in the Church: The Focolare Movement.
It was during World War II. Amid all the violence and turmoil, she knew that fraternity could trump evil. She focused on universal brotherhood and now that movement has caught on in over 182 countries. Now the Catholic Church is looking into her life to see if she could be a candidate for sainthood.
Her cause for beatification was opened near Rome in the Frascati Cathedral. This period will be a time to interview those who knew her best, her writings and the way she lived out Christian values in every day life. Four cardinals attended the meeting and the Pope sent a message, which was read aloud by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
CARD. TARCISIO BERTONE
Former Secretary of State
"May the shinning example of the founder of the Focolare Movement, inspire in those who live out her spiritual heritage, a renewed purpose of fidelity to Christ and a generous service to the unity of the Church.”
FR. SILVESTRE MARQUES
"The light of the Gospel and radical love, characterized this Servant of God, giving her the courage to serve as an apostle of dialogue.”
President of the Focolare
"Rest assured, our only desire is to give the Church and humanity, the gift that Chiara has given us and many others. The engine of her eyes and heart, reflect a universal love that's able to embrace all people, despite their differences.”
Chiara Lubich was born in Trent in the year 1920. She died in 2008 near Rome.
ROME REPORTS talked to her briefly during one of her last public appearances, when the beatification process of the movement's co-founder, Igino Giordani was opened.
June 6th, 2004.
What does this day mean to you, as co-founder of the Focolare Movement?
What does this mean? I feel great joy. I was moved when I found out about the process. It's perhaps one of the greatest joys I've had in my life, among the most beautiful.
What was his greatest virtue?
The main virtue I recognized in him was love. Love towards God and his fellow neighbors.
Chiara Lubich was in many ways a pioneer of Catholicism in the 21st century. The universal brotherhood she focused on was key, since it came at a time, when dialogue, would always take the back seat. Her vision, changed things for the better.