Focolare President Maria Voce greeted Pope Francis on Saturday, in an event with various leaders of the ecclesial movements and lay associations gathered around the Pope for Pentecost celebrations.
Voce assured him of the commitment of the Focolare “to give this testimony of a courageous and joyful Christianity.” Immediately following Saturday’s Pentecost Vigil program, Voce stated that “his speech touched our hearts,” particularly his insistence on the encounter with Jesus “which takes place in meeting the people, at the periphery of society.”
The president of the Focolare underlined the atmosphere of friendship and joy among the various founders and representatives of communities and movements.
Giancarlo Faletti, co-president of the Focolare, stressed that the Pope emphasized the love of Jesus and of neighbor as the dynamic of life of those who look outwards: “He did not look at the movements just as a particular part of the church, but he addressed the whole of Christianity.”
Included among the 200,000-strong crowd in St. Peter’s Square was Hana Chehade from California, who, together with an international youth group of the Focolare, attended the Vigil and reported: “To be there with others who believe like we do was wonderful. Pope Francis didn’t just make an appearance and simply answer questions, but assured us that he was with us in every step of the journey of our faith.”