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Focolare celebrates 45th anniversary

Focolare celebrates 45th anniversary
Chiara Lubich, Manila

March 15, 2011

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Thousands of members from across the country gathered at Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila on March 13 to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Philippine Focolare Movement. The occasion also celebrated the beatification last year of movement member, Chiara “Luce” Badano, as well as the third death anniversary of Focolare’s founder Chiara Lubich. During the day-long celebration, the movement reflected on the short life of Italian teenager Badano, its first beatified member, who lost the use of her legs and later died from an aggressive type of bone cancer in 1990 aged just 18. “If I had to choose between walking and going to Paradise, I'd have no doubt, I would choose Paradise. Now I'm only interested in that,” she once told a friend. Her last words to her mother before she died were: “Be happy, I am happy!” In 1999, the Catholic Church began the process of her beatification, with the required miracle being approved just two years ago - the recovery of an Italian boy with meningitis who had been given only 48 hours to live. Focolare also celebrated its founder’s contribution to the Philippines and the world. Lubich died at age 88 on March 14, 2008. She was president of the worldwide Focolare movement, which now has communities in 182 countries. Lubich’s last visit to Manila was in 1997 to receive an honoris causa doctorate degree in Sacred Theology from the Catholic and Royal Pontifical University of Santo Tomas. Among Lubich’s important contributions is in the field of economics. She introduced the Economy of Communion, a system where business owners help the less fortunate by donating their profits. She through the movement was a leading proponent of love universal brotherhood and unity. “There is no problem which love cannot solve,” she once said. PM13640.1645
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