Papal Words for Assistant's Funeral: God Remembers Us

Pope Gives Thanks to God for Life of Manuela Camagni

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ROME, NOV. 30, 2010 ( God remembers us with the love of a parent, a brother, a friend, also at the moment of death, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope made this reflection in a message he sent to the funeral of one of his assistants, Manuela Camagni. The reflection was read by his personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Ganswein.

Camagni, 56, formed part of a team of women who look after the papal apartments. She was killed in the early hours of last Wednesday when she was struck by a car on Rome’s via Nomentana.

Camagni was a member of the association of Memores Domini, the branch of Communion and Liberation that lives total consecration to the Lord in the midst of the world.

The Holy Father used the name of her community in his reflection for her funeral.

“Her departure, so sudden and also the way in which she was taken, have given us great grief, which only faith can console,” the Pope acknowledged.

However, he went on to say that he finds consolation in thinking of the meaning of the words “Memores Domini” and that there, “I find a sense of peace.”

The Pontiff explained: “Memores Domini means: ‘those who remember the Lord,’ namely, persons who live in the memory of God and Jesus, and in this daily remembrance, full of faith and love, they find the meaning of everything, from small actions to great choices, of work, study and fraternity. […] 
“Hence, because of this it gives me peace to think that Manuela is a Memor Domini, a person who lived in the memory of the Lord. This relationship with him is more profound than the abyss of death. It is a bond that nothing and no one can break, as St. Paul says: ‘[Nothing] can separate us from the love of God, in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

“Yes, if we remember the Lord, it is because he first remembers us. We are Memores Domini because he is Memor Nostri, he remembers us with love of a parent, a brother, a friend, also at the moment of death. If at times it seems that at that moment he is absent, that he forgets us, in reality we are always present to him, we are in his heart. Wherever we fall, we fall into his hands. Precisely there, where no one can accompany us, God awaits us: our Life.”

God’s family

Benedict XVI gave his own personal testimony about Camagni, recalling her service in the papal household.

“I wish to thank the Lord for the gift of Manuela’s life, for her faith, for her generous response to her vocation,” the Pope said. “Divine Providence led her to a discreet but precious service in the Pope’s house. She was happy about this and took part joyfully in family moments: at Holy Mass in the morning, at vespers, at meals in common and in the various and significant happenings of the house.”

He recounted that he was able to celebrate a Mass for Camagni’s soul on the very morning of her death.

“And while I accompany with prayer the Christian rite of her burial,” the Pope concluded, “I impart with affection to her family, her fellow sisters and all of you my blessing.”

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