Messages and Greetings
We publish here some of the messages and greetings that Fr Giussani received
for the fiftieth anniversary of the Movement and for his eighty-second
Pilgrimage to Loreto, October 16, 2004
On the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Communion and Liberation
Our Lady, it is you who give certainty to our hope!
This is the most important phrase in the whole history of the Church;
the whole of Christianity is expressed in it.
You give certainty to our hope” indicates the blossoming of things.
Without Our Lady we would be unable to be sure of the future, because
the certainty of the future comes to us from Christ: the Mystery of God
who becomes man.
This could never have happened, it would even have been impossible to
retell it, if we had not had Our Lady.
Through Her, the gift of the Spirit was communicated to man; in Mary’s
womb the final history of mankind began. It is a miracle, the beginning
of the end of the world.
Christ’s death and Resurrection constitute the announcement of
that final message in which the meaning of every instant of time and
space flows as memory of the Eternal.
So, for us, prayer to Christ is more and more identified with prayer
to Our Lady.
I invite you to pray the Holy Rosary every day; it is the contemplation
of the Mystery, the contemplation of the Most Holy Trinity.
May Our Lady help us to live this.
Fr Luigi Giussani
Iwas very pleased to hear that, on October 16th, the Italian members
of Communion and Liberation will travel with grateful feelings to the
Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto in remembrance of the beginning of the journey
fifty years ago, led to the birth of the Movement. At Loreto they will
entrust themselves once more to Mary so as to draw renewed impetus in
following Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, and in making themselves
heralds through a coherent witness of their personal unreserved adhesion
to His Gospel. Spiritually present in this act of praise and thanks,
I willingly impart to you, dear Monsignor, to the participants in this
manifestation, and to those who will join in various countries in this
prayerful Marian initiative, my apostolic blessing, pledge of abundant
Ioannes Paulus PP. II
I was blessed to be able to be with many of you at Rimini this summer.
I saw the faith, and joy of Communion and Liberation experienced by so
many people. They had an experience of our Lord and a desire to share
that event with others.
In the Middle Ages, the pilgrims, or peregrini, in Ireland made a vow
of perpetual exile. The pilgrims never slept two nights in the same place,
and they traveled from place to place talking about God, witnessing to
the fact we are all pilgrims and strangers in the world. We are all in
exile. Catholics always supported the pilgrims with alms and saw their
pilgrimage as a service. The Church has always been called the pilgrim
Church. God is our origin and our destiny. This doesn’t mean we cannot
be engaged in this world. But the people who cling to this world end up
destroying it. Those who are pilgrims know that they come from and go to
God, they are good stewards. They transform the world and make God’s
kingdom visible here. This experience allows us to glimpse the reality
of the pilgrim Church. It reaffirms the fact that we come from God, who
is our Father, our Destiny, the place where we find holiness and community,
and where we find Eternal Life with Him. The Blessed Virgin Mary accompanies
us. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew people would carry the Ark of the
Covenant everywhere with them. It was a promise of God’s love and
protection. Mary is the Ark of the Covenant we carry into battle. We can
count on God’s love to be with us today. I congratulate you and offer
you my prayers and support for this pilgrimage.
H.E. Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston
Reverend Monsignor, on the occasion of the national pilgrimage
of Catholic Action to Loreto, last September 5th, you sent me a very
cordial letter, which I highly appreciated, and for which I thank you
in the name
of the whole association.
In that text, you expressed the readiness of the Movement of Communion
and Liberation to collaborate in the urgent need for a renewed announcement
of the Gospel and in the formation of mature Christian consciences. These
very objectives constitute the essential points of the renewal that Catholic
Action has launched in recent years, guided by the Pope’s word which
asked us to consider holiness as “the greatest gift that you can
give to the Church and the world,” and to have at heart “what
the Church has at heart: that many men and women of our time be won over
by the fascination of Christ, (…) that mankind might follow the ways
of peace and fraternity” (Homily, September 5, 2004).
These are challenges that can surely not see believers, of whom the ecclesial
aggregations are a significant and lively reality, divided or indifferent
to each other. Once again at Loreto, John Paul II indicated to Catholic
Action the ways of contemplation, of communion and of mission so as to
live fully its application. We consider this a fruitful synthesis on
which to build new routes to unity in the Church. This is why we have
at heart a sincere meeting of minds and exchange of experiences between
the various ecclesial subjects. Communion, a gift that the Risen One
never ceases to grant us, above all through the most sweet mystery of
expects from us that we be able to welcome and witness to it in the concreteness
of the particular Churches in which our journeys are rooted.
Therefore, I am glad to proceed with this dialogue, and I welcome the
opportunity offered by the anniversary of the foundation of your Movement
what I affirmed during my recent visit to the Rimini Meeting: the different
charisms constitute a wealth, when they are lived and taken up in the
own life. In a few days’ time, you will celebrate this happy occurrence
by going on pilgrimage to the Holy House of Loreto. There, where even the
stones recall “what great love the Father has given us” (1Jn
3:1) with the gift of His Son, wonder and thanks invade the heart. In the
house of Nazareth, feel our association near you.
In wishing you and the Movement of Communion and Liberation a fruitful
pilgrimage, I renew the desire to be together a visible sign of a journeying
Church, deeply immersed in history.
With heartfelt greetings,
Paola Bignardi, National Presidency of Italian Catholic Action
Very Reverend Monsignor, on the occasion of your 82nd birthday and
the 50th anniversary of the Movement of Communion and Liberation, I wish
assure you of my nearness and my remembrance in prayer to Our Lady, that–as
you yourself suggested recently–our existence may coincide more and
more with our being.
I also confirm my most lively appreciation for the service that the Movement
of Communion and Liberation is carrying out for the benefit of the Church
in Italy and the whole world.
Wishing that you may go on seeing the abundant fruits that the sequela
to what the Holy Spirit has aroused in you is continually generating,
I willing confirm myself, Yours devotedly in the Lord,
Archbishop Paolo Romeo, Apostolic Nuncio in Italy
Dear Monsignor, I write to share with you my joy and thanks to the Lord
for what He has worked through your person, and to join in the prayer
of the members of Communion and Liberation who will go on pilgrimage
Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, and in other Marian Shrines throughout
the world, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the journey
led to the birth of the Movement. The beginnings of the Movement, and
later of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, could not have been
much less planned, by anyone. All that arose through your untiring dedication,
moved by love for Christ and His Church, spread rapidly throughout the
world, astonishing for the wealth of the teaching it proposed and for
the forms of evangelical life it aroused.
The movement of Communion and Liberation is without doubt one of the
shoots of the great “springtime” aroused by the Holy Spirit in the
last fifty years of the last century, which saw the blossoming of a wide
range of ecclesial movements and new communities. As John Paul II has many
times recalled, these have been a providential answer to the extreme need
the Church and the world had of Christian communities able to propose the
faith as a personal encounter with Christ that transforms life, and able
to form mature Christian personalities aware of their own baptismal identity
and of their own vocation and mission.
An anniversary like this is extremely important in the life of an ecclesial
movement because it serves to revive in its members the memory of the
original experience, the memory of the charism from which it is born.
Far from being
a look statically fixed on the past, memory enables one to reinforce
own faithfulness to the charism of the origin in the creativity necessary
for taking up the challenges of the times. So we do well to invoke the
help of Mary, the Mother of Christ, who “stored up all these things
in her heart” (Lk 2:51), and draw inspiration from her bright example!
It is from the living source of the charism that springs forth the “spiritual
affinity” that binds people together generation after generation,
that companionship and that friendship that we call “movement.”
The pilgrimage to the Holy House of Loreto to give thanks for the gift
received and to ask for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, entrusting
to her the present and the future of Communion and Liberation, is a particularly
meaningful occasion for looking at the mirabilia Dei that have happened
in the history of the movement you founded and in the history of the
Church and of the world. In communion with the successor of Peter–to whom
you never fail to send assurances of filial obedience–and through
the originality of the charism that generated it, Communion and Liberation
can contribute to the spread in the world of the salvific presence of the
Risen Christ until He be “everything in everyone” (Col 3:11).
While I renew the expression of my affection and esteem, I wish you and
your direct collaborators a fruitful work for the good of the Movement
and of the whole Church. And confident in the intercession and the benevolence
of Mary, Mother of the Church, I greet you wholeheartedly.
Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, President,
for the Laity
May the embrace of Mary from the sweet hills of Loreto pour out abundantly
on you all the grace of the Virgin, “Eucharistic Woman.”
In this way, the community of Communion and Liberation throughout the
world, at fifty years from its birth, will be even more “quasi-sacrament” of
the convincing beauty of the face of Christ the Lord.
The contradictions and the pains of the present moment of history make
even more exciting the humble but tenacious task of Christians to live
the dimensions of the world. I extend to everyone my greetings and my
Angelo Cardinal Scola, Patriarch of Venice
Reverend Monsignor, I received the news of the Pilgrimage to the Shrine
of Loreto, which Communion and Liberation has planned for Saturday, October
16th, on the fiftieth anniversary of its birth.
As the invitation significantly conveyed, this appointment means to express,
in the gesture of the pilgrimage, the journey to be made in discovery
of God’s plan; in the Shrine of Loreto as the aim, the bond with Mary
Mother of the Church, Mediatrix of all graces, on the fiftieth anniversary,
thanks for the graces received and intercession for help and companionship
on the journey.
I join in this gesture of thanks to the Lord, for the gift of such a
significant experience of faith, which has helped many young people to
in the Church. Characteristic notes of the Movement that are particularly
appreciated are the strong orientation to Christ and the lively belonging
to the Church, expressed through a strongly felt bond with the Holy Father,
whose Magisterium constitutes the fundamental thread for the identity
and commitment of the members. The formative action expressed by the
deserves special acknowledgment, directed as it is to Christian witness,
above all amongst the youth and in the university environment.
I believe that the Church in Italy owes you thanks and today wishes you
The fiftieth anniversary will certainly be a propitious occasion for
a renewed impulse for the life of the Movement. In this context, I encourage
the steps being taken for a renewed bond of communion amongst the ecclesial
aggregations, and I exhort an ever-deeper insertion into the pastoral
of the Church in Italy. You will certainly not fail to offer your peculiar
contribution in the promotion of the communication of the faith in today’s
cultural context, marked by such profound changes; and your effective presence
will be precious in that “integrated pastoral” with which it
is wished to re-launch the missionary figure of the parish, as Church that
becomes present amongst the homes.
While I assure you, also in the name of the Cardinal President, of my
remembrance in prayers that the Pilgrimage may bear abundant fruits of
grace, I offer
a fraternal greeting to you and, through you, to the participants, invoking
on all the Lord’s blessing.
Bishop Giuseppe Betori, Secretary General, Italian Bishops’ Conference
Dearest Monsignor Luigi, I wish to celebrate with you these 82 years
of the Lord’s Graces: the gift of life from your father Beniamino
and your mother Angela, and the very many other gifts that, during all
existence wholly and intensely lived, the Lord has given to the world,
to the Church, and to many men and women, today spread throughout the world;
and some of these gifts have been given to us in Peru, at Carabayllo. This
morning, during the celebration of the Mass in honor of St Teresa, I asked
the Father to keep you amongst us so that your word might go on being light
and road for present-day man. May Mary grant you the grace of living always
like her the experience of the Christ Event. With my blessing, I implore
the Highest Good and Eternal Love for the whole of your life. Many greetings.
Lino Panizza, Bishop of Carabayllo, Peru
Dear Monsignor, I take the occasion of your birthday to wish you
abundant fruit in the exercise of your ministry, in faithfulness to Christ
chosen you as an instrument of His mercy for the life of the Church.
In this fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Communion and Liberation,
you to Our Lady of Loreto, along with the participants in the pilgrimage
on October 16th , that Mary may obtain from Her Divine Son for the Movement
the miracle of unity, as a sign of hope for the world.
Yours devotedly in the Lord,
Bishop Josef Clemens, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
Dear Fr Giussani, once again this day finds us close to you, more
than ever, nearer to your heart, to your paternity, which goes on–even
in these Peruvian lands of the Pacific–generating certainty and peace!
We beg you not to forget us; keep on accompanying us, one by one, as you
have done over these fifty wonderful years.
Greetings and thanks,
Memores Domini House, Lima
Dear Fr Giussani, the finest gift we can give you on your birthday,
for your heart thirsty with desire that every man, “to the ends of the
world,” might meet the Risen Christ, is to tell you that we, too,
in far-off Siberia, will go on pilgrimage to thank Christ for the charism
that He has given us through you. May Our Lady, our hope, help us to be
as simple as she was in welcoming the Spirit of her Son, and as you are.
Happy Birthday, dear Fr Gius!
The Priests of the Saint Charles Fraternity, Fr Giampiero, Fr Francesco,
Fr Ubaldo and the whole CL community at Novosibirsk
Dear Fr Gius, happy Birthday! Today, on your birthday, I am with
a group of GS youngsters in New York who want to greet you and thank
you with the
following message. Tomorrow we will all go to thank Our Lady for the
grace of the Movement, that is to say for the grace of your person and
I pray every day for you and for your destiny! There are no words to
express what is in me for you!
Chris Bacich, Brooklyn, New York
Dear Fr Giussani, happy Birthday!!!! We are grateful for your life
because our life–its beauty and happiness–have come from you,
from what you have taught us. Thank you for teaching us about the presence
God and for giving us CL. Thank you for everything you’ve given us;
for vacations and the School of Community. Thank you for giving us the
opportunity to live beauty. But thank you for not only what you do, but
who you are. Following you, we taste the fullness of life and we change–becoming
more ourselves than before. Thank you for your “yes” to Love
because it’s through your “yes” that we can say “yes” too
and our life can be the fulfillment of its promise.
We are here at the Risk of Education Center: it’s our real school
because you are our teacher. Thank you for risking to educate us! We love
you! We walk
Mike, Matilde, Matteo, Dan, Erin, Maura, Kate,
Chris, Anna, Alessandra, Will, Doug, Vlad, Mike,
Alice, Doni, Chris, Thom, and Marika
Dear Fr Giussani, friend, the news that animates us this afternoon of
splendid spring sunshine is to know that we are sharing in a common joy; common
those who feel you so near, so much a friend, and so much ours. Your birthday
is a fit occasion for thanking God for His presence and for asking Him humbly
that this presence might spread more every day amongst us and through each
of us. On this significant occasion, we in our house join in the gesture that
being lived in many other places throughout the world, praying especially for
you, for the Church and for the Movement. May our heavenly Mother fill you
Juvenal Ñique Ríos and his family, Trujillo
Dearest Fr Gius, the greetings of these children of yours come from this
lost island surrounded by land and kissed (too much) by the sun. Even your
develop and realize the plan of God’s heart. Tomorrow, on pilgrimage to
Our Lady of Caacupé, we will pray for you that Our Lady might get us used
to fulfilling that for which we were made (Angelus), and force us to make our
existence coincide with our being, as you have taught us and showed us. We offer
everything for you and for the whole world. Immense greetings.
Gio, Luca and the Memores Domini houses in Paraguay
Dear Fr Giussani, on this, your birthday, along with all the friends in
Brazil, I want to express to you all the gratitude of those who have discovered
of Christ in the encounter with you and who in these 50 years have had the
experience of the change in life, which, through the charism of Communion and
the Church offers to the drama of the people of our time. I pray to Our Lady,
Nossa Senhora Aparecida, whom we will visit on the pilgrimage of the Movement,
that she support and confirm your health and make us ever-more obedient and
impassioned witnesses of Christ’s presence in the world through our unity. With gratitude
Filippo Santoro, Bishop of Petropolis, Brazil
Dear Monsignor Giussani, for fifty years, that unique and unassailable
event is renewed, in virtue of which our life and our freedom flourish within
We look with gratitude at the simplicity and gladness with which, saying yes
to Jesus, present, you “draw” us along in a human adventure of truth
and beauty that would otherwise be impossible. May Mary protect the reality of
this people, today more than ever in the sights of those who hate the mystery
of life and of the person, and be for us always the model of a generation of
humanity and fraternity that give back hope to everyone. Happy birthday, Fr Gius!
Roberto Formigoni and the friends of Lombardy Region
Got up in a hurry, a quick breakfast, the Angelus with my family. Have a good
day, everyone off to work. I got to work after dropping my children off at
school, still tired after my daughter’s birthday party yesterday afternoon. I sit
down and make the sign of the cross again to entrust my work and my day to Our
Lady that it might serve to say to the world that Jesus is life’s Great
Companion. I stop; but tomorrow is another celebration; it’s Fr Giussani’s
birthday! That’s why I am happy, because Jesus has not left me alone, but
had me meet a great man who carries on His work, just as He did, spending time
with everyone, praying, laughing, loving children (how much he loves each one
of us)--the list is endless, just as what Jesus does today is endless. So, thanks
again, Jesus, for having me know a man like this, who carries on Your work so
well (if You allow me to say so, Jesus, it seems to be You!). Happy birthday
and thanks for your yes that makes our daily yes possible. See you at the feast
on October 16th, at Loreto. Ciao.
Dear Fr Luigi, in these days in which the Easter Event has become tangible
in Sacred History and in the pedagogy of the spirit of your 50 years, we join
the joy of the Holy Father and all the disciples of Christ who look to you
today with affection. We assure you of our brotherly esteem, our convinced
and we ask for you the healing help of the Divine Doctor. In the Holy Spirit,
Your brother in Christ,
National Coordinator of Renewal in the Spirit
Monsignor, I make my own and address to you the greetings St Richard Pampuri
sent to his sister, a religious: “I write to you on this, your birthday,
wishing you the Lord’s best blessings; I don’t know if He will want
to give a special portion of His Cross to you and to the souls dearest to Him;
if this is so, then may the abundance and the comfort of His grace be plenty,
so that by means of the cross, you can, like St Paul, be superabundant with heavenly
joy.” I assure you a special prayer to St Richard, that he give you health
and strength and that he be always near you with his help and protection, and
help the Movement of Communion and Liberation, so that, celebrating the 50th
anniversary of its foundation, it may take new energy for bringing and giving
Jesus Christ to this world. Next year, as we recall the beginning, ten years
ago, of the pilgrimages of CL to Trivolzio, we shall inaugurate the first phase
of the Pilgrim Center and, already now I invite you, who encouraged me to set
out on this adventure, to come and celebrate the Holy Mass at the tomb of St
Richard. I ask your prayers that I may always be welcoming to all those who come
here to St Richard.
Fr Angelo Beretta, Pastor of the Church of Sts Cornelius and Cyprian, Trivolzio
With the memory of the meeting with you in August in our eyes and hearts,
all the friends of the Movement, and with the more than three thousand people
who have taken part in the presentation of Why the Church in 12 cities in Peru,
we wish the Lord to grant you, through Our Lady, to love Christ even more (if
it’s possible) and to help the great people that was born from you to be
certain of the beauty of Jesus. In the pilgrimage we will pray for you; remember
these children far away in the world, but attached to you in Christ. A big thank
you and a big hug,
The Peru community of Communion and Liberation
May the humanity of Christ, which has permeated your 82 years, embrace
us through the humanity of men and women educated by your paternity. May Our
Lady, who gives
certainty to our hope, protect our unity as she protected Jesus.
Communion and Liberation, Isernia
On the occasion of your birthday I thank the Lord for your presence with
us, a true witness of Christ.
Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologna
Your birthday involves me in the journey to Loreto so as never to stop,
as you witness to me in your reasonable and impetuous dedication to the charism
you carry in your person. I pray to our Lady a lot for your extraordinary life.
Giancarlo Vecerrica, Bishop of Fabriano-Matelica
With infinite gratitude for him who opened my life to the most beautiful
adventure and guided me in it. Greetings, Fr Giuss.
Fr Massimo Camisasca, Rome
On your birthday, thankful to the Lord for the encounter we had through
you, together we want to pray that all be given the same passion and the same
for life that has been given to us.
Fr Fidel and the community of the Pontifical Collegio Urbano
Ad multos annos–mnogaja lieta, many greetings, dear Fr Gius, and thank
you for the freshness and the boldness with which you teach us to relive every
day these words of Solov’ev: “Yes, God is with us, now, amidst the
ephemeral vanity, in the turbid torrent of life’s anguish. You possess
a joyous secret: evil is impotent, we are eternal, God is with us.”
Fr Romano Scalfi and all at Russia Cristiana
To our founder who makes young every day our impetus with the simplicity
and essentiality of his faith: on your birthday, the Food Bank Foundation sends
all its gratitude.
Don Mauro and the friends of Food Bank
Dear Fr Giussani, at Loreto on Saturday, we will ask Our Lady to fulfill
what you desire for yourself and for us all, because certainly there is nothing
thrilling than what your friendship arouses in us. Happy birthday, with affection
Emilia and all the friends of the Meeting
Youth and freedom, because freedom is always a beginning. Greetings, Fr
Gius. May Our Lady support you and protect you always.
The Secretariat of the Fraternity at Loreto
Thank you because through you song has reached us as the expression of
a true encounter. Greetings with bold affection and merriment,
The choir of GS with Adriana Mascagni and Raffaele Ronchi
Dear Father, I still carry in my heart the memory of that encounter with
you in Milan, when you welcomed me with such humility and benevolence. On the
of the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Communion and Liberation, I join
in the joy of all the Church expressed by the letter the Holy Father wrote
you recently. I feel totally in tune with what you wrote on that occasion to
Holy Father: “Not only did I have no intention of ‘founding’ anything,
but I believe that the genius of the Movement that I saw coming to birth lies
in having felt the urgency to proclaim the need to return to the elementary aspects
of Christianity, that is to say, the passion of the Christian fact as such in
its original elements, and nothing more.” Along with you, I pray to the
Lord that these gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Church might bear those fruits
of holiness that God has predisposed for the good of our generation. May the
Blessed Virgin Mary, the humble woman of Nazareth, unite you more and more in
her song of Magnificat, and may she console you always. I commend myself to your
prayers and ask your blessing. Carmen and Fr Mario greet you, too.
Kiko Arguello, Madrid
Reverend Monsignor Luigi Giussani, The community of Communion and Liberation
in Rio de Janeiro invited me to present the new edition of your book, Why the
Church. As I had a previous engagement, I could not take part, but I am writing
to tell you personally what I asked Bishop Filippo Santoro to communicate to
all those present on that occasion. The words the Holy Father wrote to you
in his letter on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation
and Liberation are simply extraordinary, when he presents the ecclesial experience
you gave birth to as “one of the buds of the promising ‘springtime’ aroused
by the Holy spirit in the last fifty years.” Even more surprising is the
acknowledgment of the value of your charism and your educative method in the
context of our time, marked “by a crisis of utopian projects and, more
recently, by a widespread tendency to relativism, skepticism and nihilism, which
threaten to extinguish the desires and the hopes of the new generations.” The
Supreme Pontiff acknowledges that, not only in the ecclesial field, but also
in the more general context of contemporary culture and society, the presence
of Communion and Liberation has a decisive importance in the formation of new
generations. Before the words of the Holy Father there is nothing to add; I can
only document the positive signs of this ecclesial experience in the life of
the Diocese of Rio de Janeiro and in many other dioceses in Brazil. I take the
occasion to thank you for having replied positively to my request twenty years
ago for a priest to teach in the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio and that
the experience of the Movement begin here. You sent me Fr Filippo, who at present
is Bishop of Petropolis. I greet you from the heart, entrusting your person and
the whole Movement to the protection of the Mother of God. With an affectionate
Cardinal Eugenio de Araujo Sales, Rio de Janeiro