At the beginning of the 1940s, Chiara Lubich, at an age not much older than 20, taught between the desks of the elementary schools in Trento, her birth city and she registered with the Philosophy faculty of the University of Venice, driven by the search for truth, when precisely in the climate of hate and violence of the Second World War, of the collapse of everything, she discovered God as the only Ideal that remained. God discovered as Love, would illuminate and transform her existence and that of many, showing her the purpose of live: to contribute to carry out the words of the will of Jesus: "That all may be one ".
In time she understood that in those words is held God’s original project: form the human family in unity.
During these years began a story in which premonitory signs of future development are contained.
In little more than 50 years, from the experience of the Gospel being lived out daily, a current of spirituality got underway, spirituality of unity which provoked a movement of spiritual and social renewal in a worldly dimension: The Focolare Movement.
- It was during this time of hate and violence of the Second World War that
this movement of universal unity and brotherhood took
off. In 1943 Chiara
Lubich with her first companions in Trento rediscovered
the Gospel. Together they put it into
daily practice, starting with the city’s poorest
The quality of their personal and collective life increased. That first group quickly became a Movement which spread initially through Italy, then through Europe and then the world.
- A new current of spirituality concentrated on the evangelic love that incited a movement of spiritual and social movement began: the spirituality of unity, distinctly community.
- Generated a life-style that, inspired by the early Christians – without neglecting, rather highlighting parallel values in other faiths and cultures – responded to the diffused question of sense of life and authenticity, and contributed to bring peace and unity to the world: prejudices collapsed, seeds of truth and love inborn in the different cultures became mutual wealth; new horizons were opened in various situations of society: culture, politics, economy, art.
- Thanks to this spirituality lived out in the most varied environments and cultures, prolific dialogue opened up: in the Catholic world, between singles, groups, Movements and associations, in order to contribute to strengthening the unity; between Christians of various churches to take part in full communion, between believers in various religions and people with different convictions. Together set out that fullness of truth and that universal brotherhood to which we are all inclined.
- The Movement, for the variety of people that belong to it – young and old, children and youth, families and priests, religious people from various congregations and even bishops – although being a single reality, it divided into 18 branches.
- Gradually various practices were developed among
which in the field of culture, the Abbà school for the
elaboration of a renewed culture: in that of economics, the project
for an Economy of communion to which more than 700 companies
committed, stronghold of testimony, social works, publishing firms
The Focolare Movement was placed in that phenomenon of ecclesiastical movements that the Pope defined: "answer provoked by the Holy Spirit to this dramatic challenge of the end of the millennium".
It was approved by the Holy See in 1962, and with successive developments, in 1990. It has received various recognitions from the Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran churches, from different religions and from cultural and international organisms.