Il messaggio del Patriarca Ecumenico Bartolomeo I per i cinquant'anni di Sant'Egidio

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To the esteemed Professor Marco Impagliazzo, President of the Community of

Sant'Egidio, our beloved in the Lord: Grace be to you and peace from God.

It is with heartfelt joy that we communicate with you in order to convey our warmest

congratulations, as well as those of the Ecumenical Patriarchate collectively, on the

occasion of the 50'*^ anniversary of your blessed community. For a half century, your

Christ-loving community has fervently dedicated its time, talents and treasures for the

promotion of three very important virtues and concepts: prayer, philanthropy and peace.

Indeed, for us, these three ideas are interwoven in the Christian life, most especially in our

age, where pure activism shadows the spiritual life, consumerism marginalizes peoples, and

vain interests incite violence and war. In response to these provocations, your community

^has valiantly promoted societal transformation, both locally and globally, by fostering

collaboration among churches and religions, philanthropic organizations and all people of

goodwill.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate throughout the centuries has pursued a plethora of ways

to address the problems of the times. It has done so, especially in our day, by hosting and

promoting initiatives that cultivate dialogue and openness towards the other with the aim of

establishing peaceful coexistence, mutual respect and fruitful cooperation. Indeed, it is our

deep conviction that in all these fields, the contribution of religions and Christian Churches

is crucial as people of faith are normally found to be motivated, inspired and empowered to

selflessly work toward such ends.

On this day of celebration, we particularly honor Prof. Andrea Riccardi, the founder of

the Community of Sant'Egidio, a man of vision and faith who has eminently contributed to

promoting peace and solidarity in our world. On our common path to building a global

society that is more just and respectful of human dignity, we are pleased to reaffirm our

unwavering support and commendation to him and to the members of this noble movement

as we have common concerns and visions for our present and future. It is our fervent prayer

that the Holy Spirit will continue to inspire, empower and strengthen people of all nations

to work concretely for the establishment of world peace and justice.

May the oil of faith granted to us all become an ointment that soothes and heals the

wounds of the world, as well as ignite the everlasting flame of love in the heart and soul of

every human being. With these words of appreciation and prayerful commendation, we

invoke upon you the grace and mercy of Almighty God, and we remain with much love and honor.

At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the tenth of February, 2018

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