Maria Voce, the president of the Catholic lay Focolare Movement, met with Pope Francis on Friday, afterward recounting that the Holy Father appreciates ecclesial movements and their ability to promote the Gospel message.
She was accompanied by the co-president of the movement, Giancarlo Faletti.
After the audience, Voce remarked that she could see “the great importance the Pope gives to a Christian life of commitment and communion.”
The charism of the Focolare is to build unity and communion.
“The life of the Gospel is of particular importance to [Francis],” Voce continued. “He encouraged us to keep going ahead with joy, because a Christian without joy will not attain anything.So, a Christianity of commitment, communion and joy.”
This meeting provided an opportunity to present the Focolare Movement and its initiatives in different parts of the world, highlighting its specific contribution in different places. Voce said the Holy Father thanked her for the movement’s work.
She also talked with him about her trip to Jordan this month, explaining how the communities of the movement there participated in the Sept. 7 Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Syria.
“One could feel the Pope’s open-heartedness and his great desire to embrace all humanity through this prayer,” Voce said. “And the Middle East was present in this embrace.”
“The Pope’s words made us realize how much he appreciates the movements,” she said. “When speaking of any situation, he remarked on how important it is that the movements sustain these situations. You can see that the Pope recognizes their ability to put the radicalness of the Gospel in the foreground.”