Focolare Little Town
It could be said that 21 February 1966 is the date of the beginning of the Focolare Movement in Portugal. This was the day when two young Brazilian women arrived in Lisbon to open a focolare house. Chiara Lubich herself had wanted it in Lisbon so as to have a place of welcome for the first focolarini who were leaving from or arriving in Europe, because at that time many flights from South America stopped off there. In 1967 the some men arrived in the city as well, opening a second focolare house.
Many people met the spirituality of unity in Portugal in those early years: adults, lay people, religious and priests, but above young people who, attracted by a gospel way of living that was simple and totally committed, threw themselves with enthusiasm into telling others of this new discovery that had given fulfilment to their lives: ‘God is love, God loves us immensely,’ they proclaimed. Urged on by the presence of Jesus among them, with no worry about age-differences, they worked among the poor, organized day meetings and concerts to spread the Ideal of unity. Like this they managed to contribute to building a more united world. And in this way a community like that of the early Christians grew up – where everything was shared by all, spiritual and material goods, sufferings and joys.