Andrea Riccardi accompanies Francis Pope during his visit to the Community of Sant'Egidio




Rome, 06/15/2014<br>Pope Francis visits the Community of Sant'Egidio, accompanied by prof. Andrea Riccardi and Professor. Marco Impagliazzo, respectively founder and president of the Community of Sant'Egidio.<br>In this excerpt, are the speeches of Professor. Riccardi and of His Holiness Pope Francis in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, and the greeting of Pope Francis to all participants.


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[Andrea Riccardi]: "Holy Father, we are happy to welcome you here. Thank you for your kindness in visiting the Community. We were born in Rome in time of '68, the time of the gift of the Council, of life force of young people, but also of ideology. In that environment, we met the gospel that led us to be a community and to the outskirts of Rome. We moved the dream of being Church of all, but particularly of poor; that is still our dream. The periphery remains the orientation, for 45 years, in Rome, then in the world, as in Africa, that Africa that we love so much, which is in the Sant'Egidio's heart, and that is a bit his heart. We dream of changing Rome and the world. It is an illusion? It was not when we realized, thanks to the Bible, that is the Archimedean point from which to start, to change the world and transform ourself, says Martin Buber. Change ourselves. The Word of God listened together in communitarian prays of each day, here in Trastevere and in every place where we are, it taught to alter sinners a humble life, in the street of all. We are ordinary people, but not for this we are doomed to resignation or mediocrity. The word grows in us by reading it, It never ends, it arouses hope. I want you to say that we have not given up the dream to change the world, or that dream has petrified in ideology, or has faded in grandstanding; because, who is familiar of poors, wants a different world. Poors are friends who have taught us to live; Today, Holy Father, you will listen to them. We are the family has seen here, where we confuse who benefits and who is served, people of humble and poor, to use the words of the prophet Zephaniah. In Trastevere, so to speak, it is our center, place of prayer each night, host, house of hospitality to foreigners, the one you saw, homeless, canteen the hungry, not far from the altar of the Eucharist, seekers but also house of meeting for peace. However, the center, that is Jesus, lives in every suburbs, where they read the Gospel and where they try to live it; that way the suburbs become center. In the suburbs of Rome, today anonymous and bewildered, before a bit like the third world, because with Jesus the little, freed from irrelevance, can make history. In some parts of the world, Holy Father, we encountered huge poverty, especially the war, mother of all poverty, and we realized that we Christians have a force, mild, to make peace, sometime buried for fear. I remember, here, peace in Mozambique, negotiated after death of a million people in that country. The miracle of peace is possible, but not always we, disciples, know how to do it, for poor faith in prayer and little humility in the dialogue. To create peace we have the power of dialogue, between enemies, but dialogue with other religions, with humanist thought, with the fragments of life. It's the Paul VI's reconciling dream, in Ecclesiam Suam: the Church become Word, a message to give, the Church become communication; when we talk, we do not get lost on the road, when we dialogue, we do not get lost on the road, but we find ourself in the middle of the history. During these years, in Sant'Egidio, have joined many brothers, friends, sisters, North Americans, South Americans, Africans, Asians, Europeans. I would ask you to think to them, also, and to pray for them, especially for those that they are in difficult situations, such as in Pakistan and Nigeria. In contact with the great world, we felt that our Europe was tired, a bit aged, introverted, worried about itself, all economy and, therefore, stingy. It is also the fatigue of our Rome, aged, a little sick, many times with less hope. Rome is a city where you cannot stay without a universal idea; but universal means to live with others, for others; introversion suffocates. So, it seems to me that the gospel proposal sounds liberating: do not live for ourselves, but for Him that died and rose for us and for others. Holy Father, there is so much pain in the world, injustice, lives trampled. I want to say that your preaching is releasing energy of wellness, because we need to get out, with more generosity, creativity and love. Holy Father, it's nice to be Christians and yet weaknesses, the difficulties of life, we are happy to be and especially we are grateful: to the Lord who wanted us disciples, to church that is a our mother, but also to our bishops, to Pope John Paul II that wanted us in this basilica, and he asked us to continue the spirit of Assisi, and Pope Benedict who visited us with affection. Holy Father, we are very grateful to you, because your presence and your speech revealed that Christianity is just beginning. I tell you that, humbly, we do not want to leave you alone, but begin to walk in that Gospel extroversion you have indicated. Mary, Mother of Mercy and of poor, which the icon we would like to deliver you, protect you forever. Thank you to be here. "
[Pope Francis]: "Dear friends, I come to visit the Community of St. Egidio here in Trastevere, Where it is born. Thank you for your warm hospitality. We are gathered here, around Christ, who looks at us from the top of the mosaic with tender and deep eyes, along with the Virgin Mary encircling with his arm. This old church has become a place for daily prayer for many Romans and pilgrims. Praying in the center of the city It does not mean forgetting the human and urban suburbs; it means listening and welcome here the gospel of love to meet the brothers and sisters in the suburbs of the city of the world. Every church, every community is called to this, in the whooping and sometimes confusing life of city. All begins with prayer. Prayer preserves the anonymous city man from the temptations which can also be ours: leadership, for which everything revolves around ourself, indifference and victimhood. Prayer is the first work of your community and consists of listening the Word of God, this bread, the bread that gives us strength, it keeps us going. But also in turn our eyes to Him, as in this basilica, look at Him and you'll be radiant; your faces shall not blush, said the Psalm. Who looks at the Lord, who looks at the Lord, he sees the others; you also have learned to see the others, especially the very poor and I wish you to live what Prof. Riccardi said, that between you they confuse those who help and those who are helped; a tension which slowly stop to be tension to become encounter, embrace. They confuse those who help and those who are helped, who is the protagonist? Both of them, or, better saying, the embrace. in the poors is present Jesus, who identifies himself with them. St. John Chrysostom writes: «The Lord is approaches to you in attitude of destitute». You are and you remain a community with the poors. I see between you so many seniors, I'm happy you are their friends and neighbors; the treatment of elderly, like those of children, is an indicator to see the quality of a society. When the elderly are discarded, when the elderly are isolated and sometimes they go off without affection, it is a bad sign. How good is, instead, that alliance that I see among the young and the elderly, in which all give and receive; seniors and their prayer are an asset for Sant'Egidio. A people that does not keep its elderly, who do not takes care of its young people, is a people without future, a people without hope; Beacouse young people, children, young people and the elderly advance the story: children, youth, with their biological force, it is right; the seniors giving their memory. But when a society loses the memory it is over, it's over. It is sad to see a society, a people, a culture that has lost memory. The nonagenarian grandmother who spoke - nice eh?! - she told us that there was that... that appeal to the discard. Eh, this culture of discard to maintain a balance, so, where at the center of the world economy there is not man and woman, but there is the idol of money, it is needed to discard things: they discard children, no kids, let's think about the quote of children's growth in Europe (Italy, Spain, France); they discard the elderly, with these attitudes behind them is an hidden euthanasia, a kind of euthanasia: not needed, what is not needed can be discarded, what does not produce is discarded. And now the crisis is so great that you discard young people; When we think of these 75 million of young people, from twenty-five down that ni / ni: ni work, ni study, without! It happens today, in this tired Europe - eh, as he said - this Europe that is tired, has not aged, it's tired, it does not know what to do. My friend there, he asked me a question, a while ago: why I do not speak of Europe. I pointed a trap, I told him: "Have you heard when I spoke of Asia?" ... and he realized it was a trap. Today I speak of Europe. Europe is tired, we must help it to rejuvenate, to find its roots; it is true: it has disowned its roots, but we have to help it to find them. From the poor and older you start to change society. Jesus says of himself: «The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone». Even the poors are, in some way, cornerstone for the building of the company. Today, unfortunately, a speculative economy makes them more and more poor, depriving them of the essential, such as home and work, it is unacceptable. Those who live solidarity does not accept it and it acts. This word «solidarity» many want to remove from dictionary, huh?! Why a certain culture seems a dirty word. And no! It is a Christian word: solidarity! For this family you are homeless, friends of people with disabilities that express, if you loved so much humanity. I see that, also, many new European migrants arrived after travel painful and risky, the Community welcomes them with kindness and it shows that the alien is a brother to learn and help, and this rejuvenates us. From here, from Santa Maria in Trastevere, I greet to those involved in your community other countries of the world; I encourage too them to be friends of God, the poor and Peace. Who lives well will find blessing in life and it will be a blessing for others. In some countries suffering from war, you try to keep alive the hope of peace. Work for peace not by results rapid, but it is a work by craftsmen patients seeking what unites and put aside what divides, as St. John XXIII. We need more prayer and more dialogue, that necessary: ​​the world suffocates without dialogue. But the dialogue is only possible their own identity; I can not do pretend to have another identity to dialogue, you can not talk like that. I am with this identity, but dialogue because they are people, because they are men, they are women and men and woman have this possibility: without dialogue negotiate their identity. The world suffocates without dialogue, for this you also make the Your contribution to promoting friendship between religions. Go ahead on this road: prayer, poor and peace. Walking so help you grow compassion in the heart of the company, which is the true revolution, the compassion, tenderness. A growing friendship instead of ghosts enmity and indifference. Lord Jesus, who from the top of the mosaic spans His most holy Mother, sustain you anywhere and embrace you all along with you in your Mercy; we need it, we have much needed: this is the time of Mercy. I pray for you and you pray for me. Thank you."
[Pope Francis]: "I extend a greeting, salutation big. With the welcome and pray so, we need prayer in the world, for peace. So many people who do not have the necessary to live every month, every month, many families They can not pay the rent and must leave away, where? God knows! To these new poor. Pray for the people who are at war, for the people who suffer from war, ask peace. Prayer is the weapon we to touch the heart of God. If we pray, He will listen to us. I entrust the prayer, prayer for the poor and for peace. That the Lord bless you and also pray for me, because you know that my work is a healthy work, and I need to extraordinary prayers. Thank you very much, thank you. "