Poznan is one of Poland’s most ancient cities. It is fifty kilometers from Gniezno where the conference entitled “Europe of the Spirit” was held. Although it is steeped in tradition, Poznan is a youthful city due to the presence of nineteen universities in its territory, making it one of the most vibrant academic centers of Poland.
Bishop Stanislaw Gadecki, archbishop of Poznan, affirmed: “When I heard that Chiara Lubich was coming to Gniezno, I immediately asked the Focolare if it would be possible to have a meeting in Poznan, especially for the students. I really didn’t think it would be possible, but in the end we succeeded. And, as we saw today, the atmosphere was so special that the participants were captivated by the spirituality of unity, by the spirituality of the focolarini.”
On March 13, Chiara was invited to speak in the “Adam Makiewicz” University Auditorium. Before Chiara’s talk, a small group of the “Polish people” of the Movement were introduced onstage in front of the monumental organ. They are the Focolare people formed at a time when it was impossible to do anything other than live the Gospel.
It was an emotional moment for all during the viewing of the brief documentary on the meetings between the Polish Pope and the Focolare.
In her address Chiara proposed the evangelical radicalness of love which appeared to be the one and only solution that could instill new fervor in the life of the Christian community. It emerged as a source of joy and fervor and as the antidote to consumerism, to a lukewarm religious life.
In conclusion, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, on behalf of the diocese, gave Chiara a medal of honor for her visit. Cardinal Jozef Glemp, archbishop of Warsaw, commented: “In the university hall of Poznan we not only listened to an address by Chiara Lubich – I know her very well – but we witnessed the creation of what I would call the environment of faith. The young people were able to experience, not only from the clarity and content of her talk, but also from being in this environment which allows you to turn directly to people in an informal and familiar way. I think that Chiara’s great charism consists in this.”