To Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State
«I am spiritually participating in the solemn liturgy with which the Christian community accompanies Chiara Lubich in her departure from this earth to enter into the wound of our Heavenly Father. I renew with affection my condolences to the directors and to all the members of the Work of Mary, to the Focolare Movement, and to all those who have collaborated with this generous witness to Christ, who totally gave of herself for the spreading of the evangelical message into every expression of contemporary society, always remaining open to the “signs of the times.”
There are many reasons for thanking the Lord for the gift given to the Church of this woman of intrepid faith, humble messenger of hope and peace, founder of a vast spiritual family that embraces many fields of evangelization. I would like to above all thank God for the service that Chiara has rendered to the Church: a both silent and incisive service, always in harmony with the teaching of the Church. “The popes,” she commented, “have always understood us.” This is because Chiara and the Work of Mary have always tried to respond with gentle faithfulness to every request and desire. The uninterrupted bond between my venerable predecessors – Servant of God Pius XII, Blessed John XXIII, Servant of God Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II – give a concrete witness to this fact. The thought of the Pope was her source of direction and guidance.
Moreover, looking at the iniatives that she gave rise to, one could affirm that she had an almost prophetic capacity to intuit and anticipate the thought of the Pope in her actions. Her legacyy now passes onto her spiritual family: the Virgin Mary, a constant model and reference point for Chiara, help each focolarino and focolarina to continue along the same path, contributing to make the Church, as our beloved John Paul II wrote on the eve of the Great Jubilee Year of 2000, always more home and school of communion.
God of hope welcome the soul of our sister; comfort and sustain the commitment of those who have embraced her spiritual testament. For this, I assure you of a special remembrance in my prayers and send to all those present at the sacred rite my Apostolic Blessing».
Vatican, March 18, 2008