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Thank you…

The day after the canonization ceremony we got together, people from different corners of the globe, in order to give thanks to God for the gift of Brother Charles, our universal little brother. During the hours spent in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran one could feel the luminous and silent harmony of the many hearts who were present…infinitely grateful for having met this great friend of Jesus on their road. Cardinal Angelo de Donatis gave voice to the gratitude the spirit was murmuring to the Church. .

Here are the words with which he shared his joy during the eucharistic celebration

Whatever you may do, I thank you”  

“To give thanks”… that’s why we are here today.  To give thanks to the Lord who took the prayer of Brother Charles seriously and made him a masterpiece, a saint!  But in our hearts we also have the desire to “thank” Brother Charles himself, so let’s try to do just that with joy and freedom.

Thank you for having loved life, daring to “explore” it in all its facets, savoring feelings and passions, and not sheltering yourself from anything.

Thank you for having recognized your gifts, accepting and allowing them to bear fruit: your intelligence, your passion for reading and for travel.  And thank you also for your limitations, your weaknesses, and your wounds that you neither denied nor hid.  You allowed them to be transfigured by the Father’s mercy.

Thank you for having become more and more like your Lord and brother Jesus, loving to the very end. Thank you for your doubts, your questions, and your dissatisfactions.  Thank you for never having felt that you loved “enough.”

Thank you for what we do not know about you and that remains a mystery.  Thank you because we cannot make your life our own or make it an absolute.

Thank you for your “descent” to the last place, for forgetting yourself, for your poverty and your generosity.

Thank you for relationships woven with such fidelity.  Thank you for having loved your family, friends, and neighbors without ever excluding anyone.  Thank you for never having finished that wall that would have marked off your cloister.  Instead, you opened the door of your hermitage and your heart to many.

Thank you for having learned to receive from others and not be self-sufficient.  Thank you for having accepted to depend on the poor in that moment of illness, because it made you into a little brother, a universal brother.

Thank you for having dared to leave everything in order to live for God alone.

Thank you for having “lost your heart to Jesus of Nazareth,” discovering in him that every creature is your brother and sister.

Thank you for your docility to what the spirit was suggesting to you. Thank you for not having been afraid to leave the securities you had already acquired.

Thank you for your concern for those who were the furthest away, for those you considered to be the poorest. Thank you for the tenderness with which you loved them and for the patience and kindness with which you approached them and immersed yourself in their culture.

Thank you for your gentleness and also for your clarity in denouncing injustices and abuses. Thank you for letting us hear and see the gospel proclaimed by your life.

Thank you for enduring loneliness without despairing.  Thank you for your desire to have brothers with you and for your ability to dream.

Thank you for the fruitfulness of your life. Many of us are among the ears of wheat born from you, from this grain of wheat sown in the sand of the Sahara.

For whatever the Lord may do with us, through our encounter with you, we thank you.

Mass of thanksgiving for the Canonization of Charles de Foucauld on May 16, 2022, at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Rome, pre-homily of Cardinal Angelo De Donatis.