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A fruit tree

A small tree laden with abundant fruit brought to the altar: this was how Fede e Luce – the international movement that brings together the mentally disabled, their families and friends – bade farewell, during her funeral, to Mariangela Bertolini, the Foundress of the Italian branch who died in Rome on May 29. Born in Treviso in 1933, she was the mother of three children including Chicca (born with serious problems), and a journalist (she founded and directed for years the bi-monthly Ombre e Luci). After meeting Jean Vanier in Lourdes Mariangela organized the pilgrimage that Fede e Luce (established in France in 1971) made to Rome on the occasion of the Holy Year of 1975. That was where it all started: in fact it was solely thanks to the hard work and tenacity of Mariangela Bertolini, a woman both gentle and strong, that the movement came into being and spread throughout Italy – from the Aosta Valley to Sicily – in response to the great loneliness of families. In the fruit of that tree were all the young people, friends, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers who have enriched the lives of so many others over the past 30 years of community life.

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St. Peter’s Square

Aug. 23, 2019

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