Dearest Sisters, dearest lay people, collaborators, benefactors, volunteers and friends,
I reach you on the occasion of our Feast with the “motto” of the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Saint
Magdalene: “Set life on fire. A gift of love and freedom” and with an expression that she herself wrote to M. Rosa Polli on 18 May 1833: “The Institute belongs to God and Mary Most Holy; let us not detach ourselves from their desires…”

Two expressions that unite space, time, meaning, research, experience and thus, reading again, I find myself drawn into that invitation: “let us not detach ourselves from their desires…”
I naturally ask myself: which are God’s desires? Does God desire? Does Mary desire? Does our heart have a renewable energy that ignites life? When does it happen that we become detached from God’s desires? What are our lives like, whatever our age? Do they burn with love? Do they set the world on fire with charity and freedom?

May Magdalene obtain from the Spirit that unshakable inner certainty that the Institute belongs to God and Mary Most Holy and rekindle in us the same desires that dwell in the very hearts of God and Mary.
This is my wish – an invitation in this extraordinary year of grace for our Canossian Family… an invitation that I feel addressed to me and that I address to each one of you.

We are all called not to miss this great opportunity that is offered to us.
The one who does not burn does not set on fire! Are we a space of love and freedom for those near us? Magdalene was like this throughout her earthly life and has been so for 250 years. Let us feel ourselves her Daugh-ters and Sons, givers of charity, love and freedom for all, starting from the poorest.

This year another important Church event will colour the lives of many young people and of us “advanced in years”: the World Youth Day (WYD).
Portugal is already preparing to welcome young people so that they can experience the beauty of being together around Christ.
Significant too, will be the proposal “In Magdalene’s footsteps” which will see as pilgrims, before and after the WYD, many of our Sisters who will see, savour, get to know the places where Saint Magdalene lived and loved.

I invite everyone to pray for this powerful experience, not only for our Sisters and our young people, but for all the young people of the world, so that everyone may set their lives on fire and become, like Magdalene, a gift of love and freedom.

Happy Feast to you and to all the people who identify themselves in the gift of the Canossian Charism, which today bears the colours of the five continents.

With the Councillors,



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