GREETING OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
to the Clare Nuns of the Saint Clare MONASTERY,
of PAGANICA (L'AQUILA)
Monday, April 26, 2021
I am happy to welcome you and I cordially greet each and every one of you. I thank you for the support you give me with your prayers, and in particular for the gift of the Easter candle for the Chapel of Casa Santa Marta, which you decorated. Through this symbol of Christ the light of the world, you are spiritually present at the celebrations that take place in that chapel.
Your community of Paganica, a fraction of L'Aquila, experienced the tragedy of the earthquake of 2009, in which your monastery was destroyed, Abbess Mother Gemma Antonucci died under the rubble and other sisters were injured. However, from that drama God made you emerge fortified and, like the grain of wheat that must die to bear fruit, so it was also for your monastic community. You have experienced the great pain, but also the loving care of the heavenly Father and the solidarity of many people.
In that night you lost everything except God and fraternity. From these two strong points you have set out again with courage. At first you settled in a temporary structure and, ten years after the earthquake, you returned to the rebuilt and restored monastery. Now your community is flourishing, made up of twelve nuns, all young. This is the message you have given to the people: in the face of tragedies it is necessary to start afresh from God and fraternal solidarity. Thank you so much for this!
Dear Sisters, do not tire of being a prayerful and consoling presence to support the population, severely tested by the terrible experience and still in need of comfort and encouragement. May the example of Blessed Antonia help you to always be poor and joyful women for love of the poor Christ. Faithful to the charism received from St. Clare and St. Francis, respond generously to the desire that God has placed in your heart, living your life as a consecrated person in total adherence to the Gospel.
Thank you for this visit! I invoke the light and strength of the Holy Spirit on your path and accompany you with the Apostolic Blessing, which I impart to you from my heart. And please continue to pray for me and for the whole Church. Thank you!