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 birthday

Pilgrimage to Loreto, October 16, 2004
On the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Communion and Liberation
“Oh 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 that, 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 credible 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 meaningful manifestation, and to those who will join in various countries in this prayerful Marian initiative, my apostolic blessing, pledge of abundant heavenly favors.
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 very much 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 the Eucharist, 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 to repeat 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 Church’s 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 to 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 to the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, and in other Marian Shrines throughout the world, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the journey that 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 foreseen, 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 one’s 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,
Pontifical Council
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 blessing,
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 meet Christ 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 Movement 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 faithful perseverance.
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 guidelines 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 of your 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 who has 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, I commend 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 your life. 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 of 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 together.
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 to all 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 is 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 with blessings.
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 82 years 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 the victory 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 Liberation, 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 and affection,
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 a people. 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.
A mother

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 in 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 prayer, and we ask for you the healing help of the Divine Doctor. In the Holy Spirit, Your brother in Christ,
Salvator Martinez,
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, with 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 that 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 taste 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 you 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 more thrilling than what your friendship arouses in us. Happy birthday, with affection and gratitude,
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 occasion 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 the 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 of Communion 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 blessing,
Cardinal Eugenio de Araujo Sales, Rio de Janeiro