Pope Francis visited the Earth Village and the Roman Mariapoli of Focolari. The simplicity, the warmth, the commitment... He leaves aside the official message and speaks off the cuff, asking not to fear conflicts but to grasp together with risks also opportunities to change the world
The news of the arrival of the Pope - a "method" that appeals to Bergoglio - came to the event Earth Village - Rome in Mariapoli like a bolt from the blue, although the sky was not very blue in this Roman spring. A few phone calls to friends, the route search of the Pope's arrival, the thrill of being able to see the most popular and the most authoritative of the world leaders. "I am happy that Pope Francis would come to this village that wants to be a small outpost of the Gospel in Rome," says Francesca, 22, a future in ONGs.
The Pope comes to Earth Village and immediately immersed in his beloved crowd. Kisses, hugs, thumbs up, crazy hands, smiles, tears, emotion. "This Pope is not only a man who speaks to the soul, but also to the heart and mind," shouts in the bustle an octogenarian woman, suddenly becomed young. The greeting to the sick in body and the youngers, the biggest ones for Francis, and then the greeting to the sick in soul, to the crowds that flock and gathers more and more numerous. A normal humanity fresco. One that Francis constantly indicates as beloved by God's mercy.
The Pope loves more listening than talking. So here is that some protagonists of the Rome committed to the Good present themeselves: there is the story of Dino who with so many friends opened a soup kitchen and there is Alfonso who with so many other volunteers helps families of prisoners also thanks to the contribution of ex-prisoners. There is the Erasmus project, and there is Raffaele who with other young people fights against the arms trade and an "economy of us", while Maria Chiara tells the Pope about Slotmob and the fight against gambling. And some people from difficult neighborhoods who committed to rehabilitate young people through social football.
Welcomed by Donato Falmi and Antonia Head, responsibles for the Focolari in Rome, the Pope nodded while listening to words like sharing, forgiveness, brotherhood, commitment. He remembered how in Argentina he had known the O'Higgins Mariapolis, "the one where you do the sweet milk"... And then he listened to Pierluigi Sasso about Earth Day and their commitment to the sustainability of the planet.
Then it's his turn, speaking off the cuff he opens his speech with the metaphor of the desert and the forest. "You do the good work to move from the lifeless desert of the city to the forest where there is abundant life... And in the transition from desert to forest, there is smile and there is commitment".
Certainly the visit of Pope Francis was a blessing to all those present, to Earth Village, and especially for the Focolare Movement, from its president to the youngest and most distant of its members. Maria Voce, president of the Movement, commenting on the words of the Pope said: "It was a great emotion, an example." And Jesus Moran, co-president, stressed that "the Pope has given us a clear program, a work to do."
The presence of Francis was once again a reaffirmation that the Gospel in the city is a joy, a beauty, a commitment that does not spare the risks, but knows how to grasp the unique opportunity of it, as every encounter with suffering humanity.
Source (article & photo): CittàNuova.it