Fr. Giussani and Pope John Paul II

Fr. Luigi Giussani: his gaze penetrated your soul

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the death of Fr. Giussani, Vatican Radio interviewed Fr. Julián Carrón, the President of the Fraternity. "His legacy? Having introduced us to an experience of faith that continues to fascinate us".
Roberta Gisotti

(Translation of the text published on the Vatican News website on February 22, containing the audio of the interview with Fr. Carrón)

Fr. Giussani lived an intense life of prayer, social engagement, travel, encounters throughout the world. He had an inexhaustible charism and enthusiasm for every expression of art. Only seven years after his death, in 2012, the Vatican opened the cause for his beatification and canonization. His tomb in the Monumental Cemetery of Milan is a destination of devotion and
prayer for the many people who knew him, valued his pastoral work, and benefited from his undeniable human and spiritual gifts. Among these is Fr. Julián Carrón, Fr. Giussani’s successor as leader of Communion and Liberation, the president of the Fraternity of CL, and a professor of theology at the Catholic University of Milan.

Fifteen years after the death of Fr. Giussani, this extraordinary and charismatic priest, what is the greatest legacy of his charism that remains?

Carrón: The greatest legacy that remains is that he introduced us to an experience of faith and Christian life that fascinated and continues to fascinate all who encountered him. The more we live his charism in these dramatic and confused times, the more grateful we are for the educative method he showed us; he seemed to have foreseen today’s multicultural situation in which the only possibility for people to become interested in the faith is to find something that fascinates them and prompts them to live more intensely. For this reason, as time goes by, we are ever more grateful for this grace we have received.

Fr. Giussani sowed the seeds of the movement in the difficult years of powerful changes that led to the political and cultural revolution of 1968. What lesson can be learned for facing today’s challenges to Christianity and for motivating young Catholics to be socially engaged?

Carrón: Fundamentally, what he did in those dramatic years leading up to 1968 is what we do now in another context, a context that is not as homogeneous as it was then, but is much more multicultural, featuring a continuous interrelationship among personalities from completely different backgrounds, from all cultures and religions. The challenge remains to find a modality of living the faith that people can clearly see. I think this is the greatest thing that can be done – as the pope always says, Christianity is not communicated by proselytism but rather by attraction. Thus the question is whether people can discover something that attracts them with such power and beauty that they are able to find the true nature of the faith: an experience in which life becomes a hundred times more beautiful and intense. [...]

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