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Pope Francis

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How Chiara Lubich transformed "the valley of death" into "the valley of life"

2016-03-14

These are the expressions of joy found when visiting the person, who forever changed their lives. They are a group of 40 people from Cameroon who have visited the tomb of Chiara Lubich, in Rocca di Papa, near Rome.

TENDONGWO MARIE ELAD NJUMO
"She is not only a mother to us. It is an intercessor, because a mother feeds but does intercessor for the spirit.”

ASHU EBEN BALIMBA 
"She had given up herself for the general good.”

Just 50-years-ago, the founder of the Focolare movement came to the aid of the community of Fontem, in Cameroon, a dense area in jungle where the infant mortality rate affects 9 out of 10 children born.

MSGR. ANDREW NKEA FUANYA
Bishop of Mamfe (Cameroon)
"The bishop then asked if she could help and Chiara led some doctors and nurses Focolare to Fontem. They have worked for the past 50 years there. They created a large hospital and infant mortality has been reduced almost to zero. It is very important for us.”

Had it not been for the intervention of Chiara Lubich, the bishop says that he could have been one of those children who died.

MSGR. ANDREW NKEA FUANYA
Bishop of Mamfe (Cameroon)
"When Chiara came to Fontem 50 years ago it was a jungle. We said that was the 'valley of death' but transformed it into the 'valley of life.”

A life that not even the terrorism of Boko Haram has been able to destroy. The bishop says that, far from sowing division, this threat has joined the Cameroonians.

MSGR. ANDREW NKEA FUANYA
Bishop of Mamfe (Cameroon)
"Muslims, Christians, animists ... everybody, all Cameroonians are one to fight Boko Haram and that is why Boho Haram has been contained. It's a very big blessing for us that the Cameroonian people were able to stand up as a united people and that's why Boko Haram did not spread.”

It is the eight-year anniversary of Chiara Lubich's death, the founder of the Focolare movement. Lubich always promoted the culture of fraternity and peace that is necessary today, more than ever. This message of universal brotherhood was something she led the world with throughout her whole life. Especially, after having witnessed firsthand the horrors of World War II.

AC/YA
Focolare / AA
-JM
-PR
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