Chicchi and Guly in St. Peter's Square (Photo: Leonora Giovanazzi)

"That 'more' that the Pope asks of us"

Guly and Chicchi got married in 2008. Shortly afterwards she was diagnosed with ALS. But in recent years "everything was and is possible through the grace of a people,” like the meeting in St. Peter's Square with Pope Francis.

The meeting with Pope Francis on Saturday, October 15, was indeed a great gift. We went down to Rome to give thanks, but life continues to teach us that it is Someone Else who makes things happen. In our case, giving thanks might seem to be nonsense: we got married in 2008, no longer very young, we longed for a family with children, and after a couple of years we began to consider adoption, but in 2011 Cristina (known as Chicchi) was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral scierosis). Everything seemed to be collapsing on us... A few days after the diagnosis I went to ask for a miracle during the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Loreto, and in his message to the pilgrims Carrón told us, "Do not ask for a miracle but for the Grace of a journey.” This was like a punch in the stomach! But the first miracle was precisely to accept and verify this proposal for ourselves. In accepting this circumstance, the good Lord never left us alone, starting with our families, and then our communities in Gavirate and Varese, our fraternities, the Meeting, the Friends of Zacchaeus, which Chicchi felt a part of from the very beginning with her fraternal university classmates.

Then there was the Mass for the sick during the lockdown celebrated by Fr. Eugenio Nembrini, the so called "little squares," and the possibility of encountering an infinite zest for life that infects everyone. Furthermore, during this truly intense year, we were able to go to Marilleva with the Friends of Zacchaeus, despite our condition, and on vacation in Pila with the community of Varese where we participated in all the hikes (in one ten friends to bring Chicchi along), and to the seaside with our families... Everything was and is possible through the Grace of a people who love and support us. To give thanks for the gift of belonging was the very least we could do.

Then we got to Rome and all kinds of things happened. It was an incredible day: the blue sky, a lot of friends, a flood of people. We were picked up by a young volunteer, beautiful, who offered to accompany us. We had reserved passes so she took us directly with the other sick people. We felt at home! Then the whole gesture, the songs, the testimonies, the paternity of Pope Francis, and to top it all off, the joy of seeing him passing in a wheelchair among the sick and greeting us one by one with a blessing: infinite charity.

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After that day, that great gift, that "more" that Pope Francis asked for consists for us in continuing to say yes to what the good God asks of us, offering everything for the sake of our charism, continuing to ask for our conversion and the healing of Chicchi, whose motto is "forward with certainty" ... and "the best is yet to come."

Guly, Gavirate, Italy