20 November 1958

John XXIII is the Pope who signed the approval of the Focolare Movement in 1962. This is how Chiara Lubich remembers him in an article of the “Città Nuova” magazine"

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Jesus is genuinely and wholeheartedly present in John XXIII. This is Jesus, who with much pain and love, tells his disciples: “My dear children, love one another."

But since love is not love if it’s not substantial,  he immediately made it concrete and real, incarnating those words: “Coepit facere et docere” (he began to do and then to teach), so as to make the Church one family, conveying universal love for everyone and especially for each one.

We see such sublime gifts of humility and simplicity in John XXIII that upset many people, people who are deceived by extravagant lifestyles or by the boom of a science that proves useless in life and only builds up pride.

In him Jesus wishes to gather together in one sheepfold all the little sheep, even those who are wandering around outside.

He has that “diplomacy”, they say, and that wisdom, let’s say, that grips the heart, cautions and orders. With extreme simplicity, he finds the ways for those who are experiencing the consequences of a sad legacy to come back.

It’s been only a few days that he is Pope, John XXIII, but with all our heart we want to tell him: God gave you to us, take care of us.

We promise you faithfulness and love like to Christ himself. Use us as only you know how, you the only one in the world who is able to govern the Church, the works of the Church, the single souls of your Church.

(Translation done from Italian text taken from Chiara Lubich, I due Papi, in "Città Nuova", 22 (1958), p.)

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