|«A providential fact, a blessing, an event that bears a great ecclesial and spiritual meaning for the thousands of members of Sant'Egidio present in St. Peter's Square in Rome, coming from all over Italy and from various European countries. It’s the first time that we will listen to the word of Francis directly and that we will pray with him in communion with the whole Church». This is what Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Community of Sant'Egidio, declared about the vigil of Pentecost, the first with Pope Francis, which takes place today in St. Peter's Square.|
He continued, «Many remember with joy and gratitude the vigils of Pentecost in 1998 with John Paul II and with Benedict XVI in 2006.
The words and gestures of the Pope touched the hearts of many, have ignited hopes and dreams for the future. The Pope urges to get out of oneself and to go to the human and existential suburbs, to not let hope be stolen and to be closer to the poor. These are spiritual perspectives that question the Christian life and that we, in Sant'Egidio, have heard with especial intensity. The encounter with the poor is, in fact, at the heart of our vocation. The poor have a question to the faith of Christians in this era of globalization, which puts everyone proximal to those who are far away. Listening to the Gospel and the prayer support the love for the poor and this is for us a decisive issue of being a Christian.
The Vigil of Pentecost will help to open hearts to the Holy Spirit because it increases our faith, and because it guides and strengthens the communication of the Gospel of our community, the love for the poor and the friendship for all to the peripheries of the world».
To emphasize the presence of all those who are in poverty and need, the Community of Sant'Egidio has proposed that one of the testimonies during the vigil be made by Paul Bhatti, brother of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Pakistani Christian minister who was killed two years ago during the organization of meetings of dialogue with the Community.