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Pope Francis

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10 years after the death of Luigi Giussani

2015-02-21

Ten years after his death, Luigi Giussani remains one of modern Catholicism's towering figures.

This Italian priest founded Communion and Liberation. The movement proposes that Christianity should be a personal experience with Christ, and not a list of obligations. Giussani explained it to Pope John Paul II in 1998.

LUIGI GIUSSANI
May 30, 1998
"'What is man that You should keep him in mind, mortal man that You care for him?' No question in life has ever struck me like this one. There has been only one Man in the world who could answer me, by asking another question: 'What would it profit a man if he gained the whole world, and then lost himself? Or what could a man give in exchange for himself?' I was never asked a question that took my breath away so much as this question of Christ’s!”

Giussani died in Milan on February 22, 2005 at the age of 83. Pope John Paul II asked then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to preside over the funeral on his behalf.

Two years later, Benedict called on supporters of Communion and Liberation to convene in St. Peter's Square.

Benedict XVI
March 24, 2007
"Through Luigi Giussani, the Holy Spirit raised in the Church a Movement, yours, that would witness to the beauty of being Christian in an age when the opinion was spreading that Christianity is a difficult and oppressive way to live. Father Giussani then committed himself to awaken in youth the love for Christ, 'Way, Truth and Life,' repeating that only he is the way towards the fulfillment of the deepest desires of the human heart.”

Communion and Liberation has existed for more than 60 years. It doesn't have strict membership. Rather, people who want to understand the movement's spirituality can attend meetings in more than 80 countries.

To mark the tenth anniversary of Giussani's death, cities throughout the world have convened Masses this week to thank him and remember him.


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