New Humanity Movement

At the origins

City Project is a path that, once embarked on, can only end in a united world’. It was with these words that Chiara Lubich (1920 – 2008), founder of the Focolare Movement, introduced and defined the City Project. At the end of the worldwide Familyfest event in 2005, she had, in fact, indicated, ‘After the family, the next step will be the city. And after the city will come the people and after the people, a united world’. The path she and her first companions set out on in Trent during the Second World War was that of rediscovering, whilst the falling bombs were destroying houses and people’s plans for the future, that there is an ideal that does not die or pass awayThat Ideal is God, who was announced in the Gospel. With this rediscovery, they chose to focus on the poor, of whom there were many, through whom they could ‘contribute towards solving the social problems in Trent’. From then to the present time, the ‘city’ has been a very important issue for Chiara and for the Movement. The holidays which they took together in the 1950’s in the Dolomites were given the name ‘ Mariapolis’, city of Mary, somewhere where people could live together according to a single law – reciprocal love. Today there are hundreds of Mariapolis’ held all around the world. There are even permanent Mariapolis’, the 34 ‘little towns’ of the Movement spread across the world, little cities that are open to anyone who wants to experience the Gospel lived in a community that is both civil and religious. Chiara was awarded 19 honorary citizenships in her lifetime, an expression of the privileged role assigned to the city by the Movement. In some of these cities genuine projects of ‘citizenship’, aimed at universal fraternity, have arisen as a result of this recognition: ‘Trento Ardente’, ‘Roma Amor’, ‘Praga d’Oro’, ‘Genova la Lanterna’, ‘Fontem Regale’.

The name given in 1956 to the Movement’s magazine, Città Nuova (New City) – which today has 37 editions in 22 languages – and to the publishing houses, anticipated the importance of the city in building a united world in the field of the media and culture,.

The rediscovery of the words of the Gospel, in the light of a collective spirituality, lived and passed on by the members of the Movement, has given rise to a way of life for both individuals and communities that is open to all, both laity and religious, a way to realize one’s own personal design and to building together a ‘civil society based on love’. In 2006 with this view in mind and with her gaze already turned towards City Project, Chiara said: ‘Through this, holiness will penetrate into society.’ (cf Rm, 7)

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