Volunteers of God: 60 years of faith and service

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The Volunteers of God is a branch of the Focolare Movement. Recently it celebrated its 60th anniversary.  The branch has a very rich history which dates back to the revolution of Hungary and the repression it experienced from the Soviet Union. Decades ago, the founder decided to respond to a call to action. 

Volunteers of God, Female Branch Leader
'It is after this revolution of Hungary, when the Pope Pius XII said 'God, God, I would like to see God in every place, in every street, in every office in the world�; so Chiara felt the need to respond to that appeal of the Pope. And said, 'but if there are people able to deny God, to remove the Name of God in the world, there should be people voluntarily who want to put back the name of God in the World.�

That's how the term 'volunteer' was coined in that branch.  The term referred to those who already lived out the spirituality of the Focolare movement, but who weren't necessarily  called to consecrate their lives to God. Currently Patience Molle is the international leader of the female division. 

Volunteers of God, Female Branch Leader
'The Volunteers of God are one of the biggest branches of the Movement, because they are all over the world, all all over the world. In all the nations we find them. Because they are people, you can see also consecrated, because the aim is to bring God where they are. In the family, in the offices, wherever you are. Chiara called them the first Christians of the XX century.�

These three volunteers, remember how the values of the revolution and their decision to dedicate their lives to God, went hand in hand. 


'When the revolution struck, I was a student. I tried to walk down to the streets to help out and participate. But my mom blocked the door and locked me in. Just like the revolution of 1956, when people willingly gave up their lives for the cause, I too took the same liberty to dedicate my life to God-day and day out, wherever He may lead me.â?  


'When I was born, my father named me Október! As a kid, people made fun of me because of my odd name. But my parents taught me to be a strong patriot and a strong Christian. Now, I'm proud to carry this name, which I consider a living monument.â? 


'Two days after the Revolution, we climbed up the Russian tanks, hoping to find some humanity in all this. But those hopes quickly vanished. Eventually though, we did achieve our goal. I consider those close to  me to be like family. That includes communities which we connected with for centuries, despite the mistrust that sometimes divides us.â? 

Decades later, now there are roughly 23,000 Volunteers of God worldwide. Not all of them are Catholic. They include people with different faiths, professions and social status. But they all have one thing in common: they've decided to follow God through the spirituality of the Focolare Movement. And that powerful mission unites them, day in and day out throughout the world. 

Cinzia Panero Fondazione í?j Város, © CSC Audiovisivi

AA, Cinzia Panero Fondazione í?j Város, © CSC Audiovisivi

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