Beyond All Borders
On July 6, 1966, Chiara Lubich, Founder of the Focolare Movement, addressed to the youth of the Focolare: “This is a historic date, a day that will make history because it is the ﬁrst time that the Holy Father is meeting with the young girls of the Focolare Movement. (…) On this very day, I had planned…to ofﬁcially give life to the branch of the young girls, and the teens (…). All this also applies to the young boys and the older teens.”
In 1967, Chiara appealed to the young adults and children who were part of the Movement at that time: “Youth of the world, unite! “Gather together the biggest number possible of youths around the world and begin a large scale revolution with the cry ‘Let’s unite!’ She explained how this was to be “A revolution of love,” whose goal was to fulfill Jesus’ prayer: “That all may be one”. Subsequently, from the response of thousands of young people throughout the world to this invitation, he GEN or “new generation” of the Focolare Movement was born.
Then in 1968, Chiara afﬁrmed the identity of the Gen with a symbolic gesture. She presented to the Gen Movement a statuette which showed a ﬂag being handed from the ﬁrst to the second generation. On this model was the inscription: “That all may be one” (Jn 17, 21) and “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (Mt 27, 46). The ﬁrst quote set out the program of the Gen Movement and the second revealed the secret that would bring about Unity.
Genfest 2018 – Manila
Now in July 2018, ﬁfty years later, 15,000 youths representing the worldwide Gen Movement and the Youth for a United World Movement (Y4UW) will converge in Manila for the GenFest 2018 to reafﬁrm their commitment to a United World where peace and fraternity are the guiding principles of humanity. In a world on the brink of a “3rd World War in piecemeal” as Pope Francis describes it, these youths are working together for peace and unity in our world also through simple, but powerful ways: a smile, a helping hand, a compassionate ear. In a world which sets up borders and walls to resolve differences, they choose the way of Unity: “I’ll be the ﬁrst one to forgive… to love… I will keep my prejudices to myself…I will not discriminate… I will love everyone.”