Pope Francis greets Davide Prosperi

The Audience: Davide Prosperi's greeting

The President of the Fraternity's words to Pope Francis. And his statement at the end of the meeting in St. Peter's Square.
Davide Prosperi

Holy Father, we are infinitely grateful to you for agreeing to receive our people in this beautiful square that takes us back to so many encounters with the Popes, from Saint Paul VI to Saint John Paul II to Benedict XVI and you, Pope Francis.

In the audience you granted us on March 7, 2015, after thanking Fr. Giussani for the good you had received by meditating on his writings, you recommended that we not be “worshippers of ashes but pass on his flame.” Fr. Giussani truly ignited a flame in the lives of thousands of men and women; he transmitted the flame that is the Holy Spirit, a fire of knowledge of Christ and man. This fire remains alive even 17 years after his death, as two experiences we have chosen among many will recount at the end of this greeting.

Holy Father, you have not limited yourself to a recommendation, but you have helped us in recent years, especially through the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life–whom we thank for accompanying us patiently and paternally–to imagine and undertake a new missionary impetus, a new page in the life of our history. As President of the Fraternity, I would like to assure you, Holy Father, that together with the other leaders and the whole movement we are following the indications of the Holy See very carefully, so that the charism that the Holy Spirit gave to Fr. Giussani for the good of the whole Church may continue to bear new fruit. Today, full of gratitude and joy for your invitation, we are here to ask you how we can contribute even more to the renewal that the Church is carrying out under your paternal guidance.

We are in the year of the centenary of Fr. Giussani’s birth. This occasion has prompted many initiatives, promoted with the intention of broadening our focus toward those peripheries of the world and of the soul to which You have directed us. It is true, there is so much desolation, so much drama in the hearts of men, and at the same time an infinite expectation for Christ, conscious or not, which reveals the profound reason why the Lord wanted to give the whole Church, in Fr Giussani, a witness to Christ’s thirst for man and man’s thirst for Christ. In this very square on the occasion of the first world meeting of the ecclesial movements on Pentecost 1998, Fr. Giussani concluded his speech before John Paul II thus, “The real protagonist of history is the beggar: Christ who begs for man’s heart, and man’s heart that begs for Christ.”
The two testimonies that now follow are meant to be a sign of the vitality of what Fr. Giussani generated with his total yes to Christ.

Thank you Holy Father, once again, for your paternity, your welcome, for the words you wish to address to us and for your blessing.

The statement following the audience:

“Today’s audience with Pope Francis for the Centenary of Fr. Giussani was a great gift and celebration for the movement of CL. We are truly grateful to the Holy Father for his words of enormous affection and heartfelt recognition of the good that Fr. Giussani has done for the Pope himself, for the Church and for the world.
His paternal call for the unity of our companionship and to contribute even more to show ‘the attractive and novel character of Christianity’ are a new starting point for us. We perceive his invitation to have ‘at heart the precious gift of the (…) charism and the Fraternity that guards it, because it can make many lives flourish again’ as decisive. And especially to help him in his commitment to peace.
Today, the Holy Father has made us even more aware that we are accompanied by the Church’s maternal and loving embrace, and he has powerfully reawakened in us the desire to live this moment in our history as an opportunity for each of us to grow and so that ‘the charism that Don Giussani left you may reach new people and new environments’.”