On December 7, 1943, Chiara Lubich consecrated herself to God. A private action from which began, in a completely unexpected way, the Focolare Movement and the story of many young people. Let’s see the story of Colomba, a Korean musician, and Pierre, a company manager.
The year was 1943. After feverish activity throughout the course of the War, on a rainy and cold Trent in the early morn of December 7th, a girl performed a very private act, without audience or selfies. A Mass was celebrated by Capuchin Father Casimiro Sonetti, and there Chiara Lubich consecrated herself to God forever. “I married, I married God,” Lubich said many times. The 23-year-old teacher did not know that the circle would expand to involve thousands of people in consecration to God, and that the Focolare Movement would be born. That December 7th has since acquired a wealth of meaning in the lives of those who followed the foundress.
It includes the slight and harmonious note of Colomba Bai, Korean musician and composer: “God created me, chose me, accompanied me and now, it is He who consecrates me. It is not I who consecrate myself to Him. I try to reciprocate His love,” she explains. Everything seems simple for this focolarina who, on December 7th, in Castel Gandolfo, will take a step forever. “It is a grace that makes the life of a normal woman like me become sacred.”
Composition studies, piano teacher, third of six children, a boyfriend. A great and prolonged suffering in the family. Everything falters; it is difficult, mysterious. A light: “Jesus took upon himself all the sorrows of the world, even mine,” she says. “He called me to a more personal relationship with Him; I felt a particular fullness and my vocation became clear.”
For nine years she has been part of the music group Gen Verde. The struggle between the choice of God and that of music is a distant memory. “Art is His gift and I would like to make the best use of music to bring love to many people who thirst for God.” For Colomba, the meaning of December 7th, she explains, “goes beyond consecration: it is the invitation to everyone to put God in the first place, to always give themselves to others.” Her black eyes shine: “In the Mass of consecration, I will sing and play with Gen Verde. In this way, I can give my all.”
Pierre Le Vaslot’s story has a different timbre, a different story line; he extracts quiet and dense words from the treasure chest of almost 60 years of experience in the focolare. It is an inner peace, his own, which stems from an experience of war. “I arrived in Loppiano in 1964 followed by three years in the focolare in Algeria and from 1969 in Lebanon,” he explains. In 1975 “there was full war in Beirut. The situation worsened in November and Chiara Lubich asked us to join her in Rome. On December 7th, a major attack took place in Beirut. On the 8th, I consecrated myself to God forever in Jesus forsaken. And I consecrated myself for that people, for those who suffer, for peace. I felt great sorrow and great joy on that day.”
French from Normandy, graduated in economics in Paris, business manager in Lebanon, since 1985 Pierre lives in Loppiano. “The offering of my life for peace remains valid even today,” he says. “I also offer it for reconciliation between the Orthodox Patriarchates of Istanbul and Moscow.” From the vantage point of his 84 years, December 7th now means: “Total abandonment of myself to God. Abandonment in suffering, as long as we are on earth. And it is the means through which he manifests himself to me, he communicates himself to humanity to give us the life of the Trinity, where the Son is totally abandoned to the Father as is the Father to the Son. The essence of God is love, the essence of love is the suffering offered that generates life.”