Life, Love, light - A message of light from the Marche region (Italy)
In preparation for Genfest 2012 in Budapest, the Focolare Movement promoted a regional meeting for young people on July 21in Porto S. Elpidio. 250 youth signed up for the event, which took the form of a festival which launched a message of fraternity and peace, based on life experiences which are already underway around the region. It was open to the public and coincided with the festivities for the hosting Parish’s patron.
The evening began with dinner at 7 p.m. and a show- put on by the youth- started at 9 p.m. The show was divided into three sections, inspired by the key words of the event:
The Focolare youth of the region presented testimonials about various projects which took place during the year: youth camps (in Fermo); service activities to foster a culture of giving and solidarity (in Ascoli); all sorts of outreach projects with youth; and ecumenical activities with Eastern Orthodox young people (in Pesaro).
The universal language of love is understood by all and unites everyone. Genfest 2012, which will take place in Budapest (Hungary), will take inspiration from the famous bridges of the city. Bridges will symbolize the desire to overcome obstacles and frontiers in order to build a civilization of love, based on the concept of universal brotherhood. The young people who will take part in Genfest will give a precious contribution- through with own their style and their worlds- to building bridges of light.
Chiara Luce Badano, a young girl, who reached sanctity at only eighteen years of age is a luminous witness. She lived an ordinary life in an extraordinary way, above all when faced with pain and illness. “Only Love- with a capital L- brings us happiness”, stated Benedict XVI at her beatification. “A young person”, he continued, “Chiara Luce Badano, shows us this. At less than 19 years of age an illness caused her death but she was a ray of light for everyone”. At an event for youth in Palermo the Pope presented her as a role model: “I invite you to become acquainted with her. Her life was a short one but it is a wonderful message. Chiara was born in 1971 and died in 1990 from an incurable disease. Nineteen years full of life, love and faith. Her last two years were also full of pain, yet always of love and light, a light that shone around her, that came from within: from her heart filled with God! How was this possible? How could a 17 or 18-year-old girl live her suffering- humanly without hope- in this way, spreading love, serenity, peace and faith? This was obviously a grace of God, but this grace was prepared and accompanied by human collaboration as well: the collaboration of Chiara herself, of course, but also of her parents and friends”.
The youth from the music group ‘Hope” welcomed the Pope’s invitation and produced a musical inspired by Chiara Luce’s life. The musical- called Mi sento fortunato (I feel lucky), which gives a powerful message to today’s young people- was the climax of the July 21 event.
LIFE, LOVE, LIGHT were the three key words of the event that illuminated Porto S. Elpidio’s evening and that hopes to reach many other young people so as to launch a message of hope and trust to the world.