17 February 2020
Associations and Movements

The charism of unity

The message of Pope Francis for the centenary of the birth of Chiara Lubich

Charisms are “gifts of the Spirit,” and “therefore it is good, even for bishops, to place themselves always anew at the school of the Holy Spirit.” And so Pope Francis, in a message read by Cardinal Francis X Kriengsak Kovithavanij, Archbishop of Bangkok, addressed the seven Cardinals and the 137 bishops who are friends of the Focolari Movement, coming from fifty countries and gathered together in Trent on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the movement’s foundress, the servant of God Chiara Lubich.

The light and strength of the Spirit, in fact, “guide us to meet those who live and suffer at the existential and social peripheries, with mercy and tenderness,” and the charismatic gifts, writes the Pope, “are, together with the hierarchical gifts, co-essential in the mission of the Church.” In this sense the charism of unity of Chiara Lubich “is one of these graces for our time—a time which is experiencing change of epic proportions—and which calls for a spiritual and pastoral reform that is both simple and radical, one which brings the Church back to her ever-new and present source, the Gospel of Jesus.”