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Monday, April 16, 2012
To celebrate the 85th birthday of Pope Benedict XVI, and in view of the forthcoming seventh anniversary of his election to the Pontificate, we express our heartfelt greetings to the Holy Father on behalf of the whole Focolare Movement.
Birthday greetings and congratulations to the Holy Father have been pouring in from all around the world. The Focolare Movement, too, is united in the prayer that the Pope himself has asked: that the Lord might grant him the strength to fulfil the mission entrusted to him.

Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement, who is currently on a visit to Argentina, has expressed her heartfelt greetings to the Holy Father on behalf of the entire Movement, together with the wish that the presence of the Risen Lord, evermore resplendent in His Church, may fill him with light and strength.

Together with our best wishes, we wish to convey our deep affection and gratitude to the Pope for his courageous witness, his enlightened teachings, and for his ongoing support to all ecclesial movements in which he perceives “the power of the Holy Spirit who brings new paths to life and who always rejuvenates the Church in unexpected ways”. These same words were spoken by Pope Benedict XVI, in March 2010, to Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, author of the book, “Benedict XVI Inspires New Movements and Ecclesial Communities”,  recently published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, in which he dedicated – among other founders – also to Chiara Lubich.

For those wishing to send birthday greetings directly to the Holy Father, an email address has been activated by the Vatican for the occasion: auguri.benedettoxvi @ vatican.va  (also accessible from the its official website www.vatican.va)