Work of Mary - Focolare Movement



Work of Mary



Focolare Movement






At the beginning of the 1940s, in the climate of hatred and violence of the Second World War, Chiara Lubich - a young elementary school teacher in Trent, her native city, whose thirst for truth had led her to enrol at the Philosophy Faculty of Venice University — discovered God is the only ideal which endures when everything else is falling down. With her first companions, in the shelters during air raids, she only took the Gospels with her. She was to write later that "those words seemed to be enlightened with a new light". God is love. In the commandment to love one another, they discovered the heart of the Gospel; in the testament of Jesus "that they all may be one", the divine plan for universal unity and the purpose of their life; and in the crucified Jesus who called out that his Father had abandoned him, the secret for the building of unity everywhere. From their experience of the Gospel lived in daily life, a specific community spirituality emerged which gave rise to the Focolare Movement. In 1948, Chiara met Igino Giordani, member of Parliament, a writer, journalist and pioneer of ecumenism. Recognised as the co-founder thanks to the contribution that he made to the embodiment of the spirituality of unity in the social environment, he was to be the first married Focolarino. Fr Pasquale Foresi is also recognised as co-founder, and is the first Focolarino priest, who made a major contribution to the introduction of theological studies into the Movement, founding the Città Nuova publishing house and the Cittadella at Loppiano. On 29 June 1990, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed recognition of the Work of Mary (The Focolare Movement) as an international association of the faithful of Pontifical Right.

In 1962 the Work of Mary (or Focolare Movement) received its first approval from the Holy See. The General Statutes, approved on 29 June 1990 by the then Pontifical Council for the Laity, confirm that it is an international association of the faithful.



The Work of Mary was given this name because of its particular link with the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ and of all men and women, of whom it wishes to be a reflection on earth, as far as possible. The Marian nature of the Movement is institutionally expressed in terms of its Presidency, which is lay and female. The variety of people that belong to it, its worldwide spread, its purposes and the works that it undertakes, all to a certain extent reflect the universality of the Church. Its specific feature is the pursuit of the ideal of unity which gives it its spirit, its aims, its structure and its government. Hence, the aim is to live and work in a way that Jesus' prayer to the Father may be fulfilled, “That all may be one” (Jn 17:21). They do so by following the privileged path of dialogue in an ongoing endeavour to build relationships of fellowship among individuals, peoples and cultures, always with respect for diversity.




The Movement is governed by the General Assembly, and the Centro dell’Opera, comprising the President (always a focolarina, as per the Statute), co-President (a priest focolarino) and the General Council. The Movement is divided into zones (geographical areas), with their own management bodies which answer to the Centro dell’Opera. At the heart of the Focolare Movement are "focolare centres" for men and women who live life in common or married life. An integral part of the Movement are the branches for diocesan priests and deacons who are focolarini and volunteers, God’s volunteers, gens (children and young people), gen’s (young men with a vocation to the priesthood), religious, and bishops who are friends of the Focolare Movement, and also the following movements (branches working in many different ecclesial and civic fields): New Families, New Humanity, Young People for a United World, Youth for Unity, the Parish Movement and Diocesan Movement.




The Work of Mary has created a large number of Mariapolis Centres, which are places of spiritual and social development and ecumenical and interfaith meetings; Cittadelle, which are places where members of the Movement of different vocations, ages and cultures live together, with training schools, craft activities and enterprises; non-governmental organisations for international cooperation, such as AMU, AFN and New Humanity; the Città Nuova Publishing House in Italy and in 16 other countries; the CSC Media audio-visual production centre; national and international music groups such as Gen Verde and Gen Rosso; artistic production centres; the “Economy of Communion” project implemented in the management of about 800 companies; the Political Movement for Unity, an international network that focuses on fellowship in politics; the Marian People's University for religious education; a residential college of middle and higher education in Cameroon; courses for family mediators; and in 2008 the Sophia University Institute in Loppiano (Florence), a training and academic research centre. It has also launched various ongoing activities in the field of education for peace and ecology, and the faith formation of new generations and families.




Città Nuova, an opinion magazine with 31 editions in 17 languages; Città Nuova online, an online daily newspaper in Italian; Nuova Umanità, a quarterly culture magazine, in Italian; Ekklesía, a quarterly magazine for church workers; Teens, a bimonthly magazine produced by children for children; Big, a children's magazine; Parola di Vita, a monthly commentary on a sentence of Scripture, in about 90 languages; Collegamento CH, a periodic video conference that brings together and updates the Focolare family around the world via internet.





Movimento dei Focolari

Centro Internazionale

Via di Frascati, 306

00040 Rocca di Papa (Roma) - Italy

Tel. [+39]06 947989 - Fax [+39]06 94749320

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