Ambra Villa

A whole life to reach Jesus’ arms

The message of Monsignor Filippo Santoro, pontifical delegate for Memores Domini, on the death of Ambra Villa, which he sent to the Gruppo Adulto house where she lived.

Dear friends,
our Lenten penance is particularly acute today: Ambra has left us. Although her condition had been precarious for some time, her death surprises and moves us. Let us not forget her speeches during assemblies, moved by a passion often overwhelmed by longing; let us not forget her vigor, bordering on agitation, with which she threw herself headlong into the mission, nor her attentive interest in what is happening in the Church and the world. And I am sure that we will not forget that final confident acceptance with which she faced her illness.

What she wrote to us during the last Summer Exercises in August was impressive, which she had been forced to follow from home, accompanied by some of you. "This year has been a privileged opportunity for me to verify whether it is a discourse or whether the presence of Christ coinciding with the companionship of the Gruppo Adulto emerges existentially in my life. A year ago I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer with an ominous prognosis, underwent invasive treatment, disabling surgery, suffering and exhaustion. I now spend a lot of time in bed, I move around with the walker, only going out accompanied for short stretches. Since all of this began, I have found an amazing serenity upon me, a reliance on Jesus born of the certainty that everything He has allowed in my life has been for my fulfillment, and my full fulfillment is to join Him in the Father's house. I have never prayed for healing, I have offered my life for the unity of the Gruppo Adulto, that a resplendent unity may shine again among us, that it may be lamp over the bushel even for the friends of the movement at this complex time. I have been running all my life towards Jesus' arms and now I am sustained by the hope of meeting Him."

Lent is a journey towards resurrection. Ambra has gone beyond the finish line. Now we ask her to help us, with Fr. Giussani, in every moment.

A strong embrace,
+ Fr. Filippo