Focolare Movement
Argentina: XV Day for Peace

Argentina: XV Day for Peace

Around one hundred persons belonging to different Jewish communities in Argentina and the Focolare Movement, met, on the 15th August, to celebrate the XV Day of Peace, as is done every year in this month, at Mariapolis Lia, the little town of the Focolare in Argentina, situated 250 kms from Buenos Aires, deep in the Pampas. The initiative has the aim of strengthening the reciprocal commitment for Jewish–Christian dialogue in this country. Every year they share reflections, and most of all experiences, as well as the most awaited moment of all – meeting around the olive tree brought from Israel and planted in the citadel around 15 years ago. This tree has become the symbol of the friendship and commitment to building peace together, Jews and Christians. In a brief summary of the path followed in these years, the thrust given by Chiara Lubich was recalled when she spoke in 1998 at the seat of the International Jewish Institute B’nai B’rith. On that occasion Chiara underlined the common points existing in the spirituality of the Focolari and in the Jewish tradition. Concurrently, around 180 youths participated in three round tables about tolerance, peace and freedom, and subsequently communicated to all the participants the conclusions and the commitments that were undertaken. Many messages of adherence were received for the occasion, amongst which that of encouragement and applause for the initiative from the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who highlighted the work of the focolari in interreligious dialogue in all the world. This edition of the Day for Peace was characterised by its internationality, by the presence of the participants of the IV Jewish–Christian symposium, programmed for the 22nd-25th August, also at Cittadella Lia. In fact, participants were present from Israel, Switzerland, Italy, United States, Messico, Perù,Uruguay, apart from those who came from different cities in Argentina.