Condolence Messages Sent to Focolare

On Occasion of Death of Founder Chiara Lubich

ROME, MARCH 17, 2008 ( Here is a selection of the messages sent to the Focolare movement on the occasion of the death of its founder, Chiara Lubich, who died Friday. She was 88.

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Ms. Lubich had the respect and esteem of the great Church of Constantinople for her monumental work to promote a Gospel-based love among people of all religions and backgrounds.

His All Holiness was happy to be able to visit Chiara on his most recent visit to Rome. The great works of Chiara will ensure that her memory will be eternal.

May he who is Lord of the living and the dead comfort the many that loved her.

Bartholomew I
Orthodox ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople

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Chiara Lubich was one of the great figures of the modern Church, she set a new tone and a new agenda for the community life of many Christians. Her writings and teachings gave inspiration to hundreds of thousands and we lament her passing with very deep feeling.

She was someone I had the privilege of meeting and I’ve had very fruitful contact over many years with the Focolare movement who have been kind and supportive and inspirational to me in my own ministry.

My heart goes out to them as they mourn Chiara’s passing. I think we have seen in her one of the great lights of the present Christian generation.

Dr. Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury

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The many friends of Chiara Lubich in the World Council of Churches received with deep sorrow the news of her death at her home in Rocca di Papa. Only a few weeks ago, I met her there, once again impressed by her tremendous spiritual strength despite her physical weakness. A flame of love that began to shine in the midst of the ashes and destruction of the war in 1943 in Trento, Chiara Lubich’s charisma gave birth to the Focolare movement that spread within her life-time to all regions of the world.

Focusing on the spirituality of unity, Chiara Lubich had a profound impact on the ecumenical movement and helped significantly to foster viable relationships between churches of different Christian traditions. She challenged the Focolare movement and all of us to give credible witness to the presence of Christ also in the spheres of economy and politics. She also became more and more convinced that inter-religious dialogue and cooperation in full respect for the religious convictions of the other are necessary expressions of Christian love.

Rev. Samuel Kobia,
Secretary-general of the World Council of Churches

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I give thanks for the great blessing of her life in this world and for the movement she founded and the millions more from all faiths. Chiara’s legacy is one of the greatest spiritual blessings of our time.

Rabbi David Rosen
President of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations

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Chiara was infused by Divine Inspiration in teaching us all that only Love can heal this aching world. Her energy continues to expand across the globe, bringing us ever closer. May her name be a blessing to all humankind.

Lisa Palmieri
Representative in Italy and the Vatican for the Anti-Defamation League
Vice moderator World Conference on Religion and Peace/Europe