Embraced by the Virgin of Loreto and welcomed into the beautiful setting of the youth center “John Paul II”, only about one hundred meters from one of our houses, from the 22nd to the 27th of February, we held the annual retreat of missionaries, the “servants of love” reuniting 150 of our boys that came from all over the houses of Europe.
Long silences for meditation on catechisms given by our priests, sharing in groups and personal adoration allowed us to examine ourselves very seriously and profoundly. This also gave us time to allow us to fully understand the meaning of the simple, but otherwise powerful words of Mother Elvira and the voice of the Church in the occasion of the delivery of the recognition of our Community as an International Association of Faithful in Rome during the month of October. These words were filled with light for our walk.
We had a real surprise and were overjoyed to be able to go on a pilgrimage to Assisi: to walk in the footsteps of Saint Francis and Saint Clare, making us realize that our lives really can change at the roots if we take God seriously, and if we “rebuild our house in ruins”, everything inside and around us will renew itself.
The graces overflowed upon us, making us now desire to restore what we have received in the freedom of our service, best expressed in the light of the simple, powerful words of Mother Elvira, “Love, Love, Love … and Serve”.
The confirmation of the Holy Spirit that welcomed and blessed our mission came, to our surprise, when we found out that the relique of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus, patroness of missions, had arrived in the Sanctuary of Loreto on Friday the 26th, the same day we reflected on the meaning of our mission.
The presence of Mother Elvira and the testimony of the cloistered Convent of the Passionist Sisters, who were very happy to open the gates to listen to some of our testimonies, united in the Eucharistic Celebration of closure in the Sanctuary of Loreto made the week of retreat an indelible moment of “Grace” in the personal lives of every single one of us.
We want to thank with our whole hearts the “hotel” Cenacolo for welcoming and loving us in a complete and disinterested way, and for having let us taste one more time the sweet flavor of the words of Jesus, “Freely you have received, freely give!”.
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