Approaching the fifth anniversary of the death of Chiara, we continue to recall the events related to her relationship with the little town. Our focus today is the ceremony of the conferral of honorary citizenship of Incisa in Val d’Arno.

It was shortly after the turn of the millennium, 14 September 2000 to be precise. Decades had passed since the arrival of the early “pioneers” in 1964, and the little town had gone through several stages in its relations with the local civil authorities: from surprise to hostility (for a reality that grew quickly in the hills and, like any new development, also raised fears) followed by mutual awareness and active collaboration between the little town and effective local government until the conferral of honorary citizenship to Chiara.

“I consider Loppiano”, the mayor of Incisa Manuele Auzzi declared when awarding the honorary citizenship, “as a resource and an opportunity for the whole Arno Valley”, highlighting the degree to which the values transmitted by Chiara brought about true dialogue and sharing among everyone. Values focused on love, as expressed by the gift offered by the Municipality – an artistic reproduction of the Tuscan school of Della Robbia representing maternal love, Auzzi added, “are almost a synthesis of our culture and one of the guiding principles of the Movement which is love”.

This was followed by a speech of the Bishop of Fiesole, Mgr. Luciano Giovannetti, who emphasised “the grace of the place” that has made an impact in the Diocese of Fiesole in the first millennium with the arrival of St. Romulo, in the second millennium with St. Guadalberto (founder of the Abbey of Vallombrosa) and now with Loppiano “with everything it brings from a religious point of view and from a human and social point of view”.

It concluded with the words of Chiara that recalled the history of the little town and assured the commitment to “act always as exemplary and active citizens.” These efforts continue to be carried forward by the inhabitants of Loppiano through a deep and active engagement with local authorities, particularly those of Incisa and Figline, as well as training people capable of being truly responsible citizens, as demonstrated by the upcoming seminar on fraternity in politics.

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