The Community of Sant’Egidio is celebrating its 50th year. A story that began on 7 February 1968, in Rome, with Andrea Riccardi and a small group of high school students who wanted to change the world. “We have discovered in all these years, along with many people worldwide, the joy of the Gospel,” declared the president of the Community, Marco Impagliazzo.
“At Sant’Egidio, in the heart of the Trastevere district (Rome) – the notice diffused on that occasion said: an adventure has begun, one that has led the Community to the human and existential outskirts in the different continents, a commitment amid the poor of every condition, up to the healthcare plans to treat AIDS and statistical records, from interreligious dialogue to working for peace.”
Next Saturday, 10 February, the “people of Sant’Egidio” will gather in the Roman basilica of St John Lateran for a celebration presided by the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin. On behalf of the Focolare, president Maria Voce will attend, together with some of her staff. In her warm message she gives “ heartfelt thanks to the Holy Spirit for the charism bestowed to the Church and all of humanity and for the fruits achieved in these fifty years of life, also thanks to your fidelity.” She added that “the Community, now spread to 70 countries, has contributed and continues to contribute to building peace in the world, through a courageous dialogue at all levels and with a particular attention to the most forgotten members of society,” and recalls the peace obtained in 1992 in Mozambique and the “humanitarian corridors” in favour of refugees.
Maria Voce underlines, among the many moments lived together, a “special” one: “the joyful commitment assumed together and in an altogether particular way by Chiara Lubich and Andrea Riccardi, after the historical encounter of the Movements with the Pope on the Pentecost of 1998, which has produced many fruits for the glory of God.” And concludes with her wish and that of the Focolare “to totally fulfill God’s design on your Community.”
See the new site: www.santegidio.org