The citadel of Loppiano, which began in 1968, was officially inaugurated fifty years ago on March 8, 1968 in the main hall of the college. The text below is an exerpt from the book “Un silenzio che si fa vita. La giornata di Renata Borlone” (A silence that becomes life. In the day of Renata Borlone.) by Giulio Marchesi and Alfredo Zirondoli (Citta Nuova, 2005).
In March 1968 when life in Loppiano seemed sufficiently developed, Chiara came and gathered all the inhabitants, now more than five hundred with families, teachers, schools and a variety of activities. She invited them to be the founders of the citadel of Loppiano, officially inaugurating it with its proper title, Mariapolis, whose goal is to make visible the unity for which Jesus prayed, and His new commandment, the mutual love that He asks of his followers. Each of the citizens, in an atmosphere of celebration where play and reality seemed to combine, were given a role and asked to promise.
Chiara asked Renata: “Do you promise to uphold the Ideal [the charism of the Work of Mary] in this city, even at the cost of your own life, so that nothing will disturb it, nothing will deform it?” And the answer, just a whisper because of her, Renata’s, emotion: “Yes.”
It was a promise that Renata would never forget.