St. Francis Day Message From Leaders of the Franciscans
CONFERENCE OF THE FRANCISCAN FAMILY
Message on occasion of the earthquake of September/October 1997
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
On the day we are celebrating the feast of our Father Saint Francis, we would like to thank you for the expressions of participation and solidarity we are receiving from different parts of the world.
The earthquake, which is still shaking Central Italy, caused two Brothers to lose their life under the rubble of the Basilica of Saint Francis; the Holy places which keep our most precious memories are seriously damaged and, for the time being, cannot be used; works of art and architectural jewels are lost beyond repair.
With sadness in our hearts, but nonetheless animated by hope, we met yesterday in Conference of the Franciscan Family. We have prayed together that the sufferings of these days, the loss of human lives and possessions we have undergone, will motivate us to draw closer to each other, to become more conscious of being one family, to love and to sustain one another, to build up a deeper unity of goals and purpose.
We invite you with all our hearts to support any initiatives, taken by organisations and institutes, inside and outside Italy, to help concretely and immediately all those in need, who lost their house, their possessions, their means of subsistance.
Your contribution will also be important to rebuild our Franciscan places.
But at this moment we are still in an emergency situation and we are not yet able to indicate you specific objects. We will identify those as soon as possibile and tell you, so that whoever is able and willing to do so, can "give one stone".
May Saint Francis bless us all and guide us on the ways of unity and solidarity.
Rome, October 4, 1997.
Emanuela De Nunzio,
General Minister of the Secular Franciscan Order
Sr. Carola Thoman,
President of the International Franciscan Conference
of the Sisters and Brothers of the Third Order Regular
Fr Giacomo Bini
General Minister of the Friars Minor
Fr Agostino Gardin,
General Minister of the Friars Minor Conventual
Br John Corriveau,
General Minister of the Friars Minor Capuchins
Br Bonaventura Midili,
General Minister of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis