Mattia Magagnini's testimony, an Italian family who receives refugees

Holy Father,
my name is Mattia, I come from the Marche. I am moved to represent here a community of families who have not been afraid to open their doors and eventually found themselves with many new relatives, who have come from afar, now no longer strangers.
Everything began for my family in 2018. My father-in-law Lamberto, leader of a group of volunteers, left us the care of a Syrian family, who had arrived with one of the first Humanitarian Corridors: father, mother and two small children, who had fled the bombs and destruction of Homs.
"Just think, your children, Bianca Maria and Francesco, will have the chance to interact with children from another culture!", Lamberto proudly told us the day after their arrival in Italy.
"You have lost a father, but you have found two brothers," Anton and Nadine told us at Lamberto's funeral, who died just forty days after their arrival.
Two more brothers, then, we discovered the Community of Sant'Egidio, and a small revolution that began in Castelfidardo, a small town in the Marche, with other families and amazing travelcompanions: Dariana, Paolo, Alessandro and Barbara, just to name a few.
We organized to provide for everything: schooling for Mousa and Yana, health check-ups, documents, home search, work, which is not lacking in our area.
There were certainly, especially at the beginning, some misunderstandings, as in every family, not only because of cultural differences, but above all because of deep inner wounds, the difficulty of regaining trust in others: 'In war, you don't know who you can trust', we were told repeatedly. It is only now, since the war in Ukraine has undermined peace in Europe, that I have managed to grasp the true meaning of those words. Yes, because building bridges also means questioning ourselves.
Nothing happens by chance. In the midst of the lockdown, it was Providence that our experience met with that of new friends from the Marche, who wanted to repeat our experience in Macerata and Civitanova. Thus, like a positive contagion, two more were born from that first Corridor. Today, ours is no longer a simple experience. We are convinced that it is much more: the Humanitarian Corridors are a safe way to save lives and are a great gift for our Europe, often aged and resigned. Our wish is to see this model extended to the whole continent.

We are here to bear witness to this, and I believe that my words also apply to all those, so many, who have welcomed in Italy and Europe: from reception and integration can come a culturally and humanly enriched society. A changed world. It is indeed, Holy Father, to live 'Fratelli tutti'. For this I thank you, for giving voice today to those who welcome and to those who are welcomed, and for your words that awaken our consciences every day.