Good afternoon everyone. First of all I wanted to say one thing: what I will now say to you has its origin in a long and grateful belonging to the movement. The second thing is the fate, or rather the grace, of having assisted Father Giussani in the final years of his illness. These are, let us say, the origins. I am Jone, a neurological physiotherapist; I have worked for 42 years and now it has been my turn to experience infirmity on the other side.
Guillain-Barré disease destroys the myelin sheath that allows the transmission of all nerve impulses at great speed; this sheath disappeared from all the nerves in my body, causing total paralysis of the musculoskeletal system; it also damaged my chewing, swallowing, breathing, sensitivity, speech, everything. I knew I was in bed because I saw it, but not because I felt that I was in bed. I entered the hospital on my feet and within a few hours I was in intensive care, intubated, with tubes everywhere and even a machine to assist my breathing.
Then–in that moment–I said to myself: “But who am I?”, because I remembered Father Giussani and the depth with which he said the word “I”. This he taught to us all. In that moment, I came to say: “I am You.” And so in that moment there, so serious, I said to this You: “Yes, yes, yes.” Three times! And there my adventure began. There I immediately received the [answer] to the question: “Who am I?” Immediately afterwards. I experienced that my person had a dignity that did not come from outside, it was He who gave it to me; paralyzed and without any attraction, I realized that my dignity came from belonging to Him [...]
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- jone-beginning-day-2023.pdf 121 KBJone Echarri testimony
Milan, September 23, 2023