This is the invitation addressed to all young people by Pope Francis in Christus Vivit and what we have touched by hand spending a day in the community of San Patrignano, which for more than 30 years has welcomed those who seriously decide to get out of serious addictions.
We have arrived in 130 children, young people and adults engaged in the summer tour of the Evenings of Nomadelfia, this year in Emilia Romagna. A group of young people welcome us at the entrance and accompany us side by side at all times, they are our guardian angels. After all, this is what they usually do with each other. As soon as a boy enters the community, he immediately receives as a gift his guardian angel, a young man already on the path of recovery who will stand by him day and night.
Today San Patrignano is a small town with more than a thousand young people on the way and about 200 people who dedicate themselves to it as volunteers. They consider themselves to be "a big family where your past doesn't count." The activities are all of a high standard and carried out by the children: workshops, bakery, stable, dairy, cellar, a textile workshop and even a hospital. "In itself we are not interested in having top quality facilities", Fabio, one of the managers, tells us. "Here come guys who destroyed everything they had; work, family, friends. Our aim is to make them understand that with commitment, perseverance and sacrifice they can create quality businesses and products ".
Everyone was present at the "Evening". The dances are accompanied and pushed by the clapping of hands, the enthusiasm grows from scene to scene, until the whole audience stands up for the big final ovation. The excitement is so great, even for the dancers. “Thank you on behalf of the whole San Patrignano community! It was a tiring but interesting day. Our sign is a hug, on my part, on all of us ", are Fabio's words in addressing the last greeting from the stage at the end of the evening. As a gift, a book by the founder Vincenzo Muccioli, one for fathers, one for mothers and one for boys.
Nomadelfia thanks you, dear young people, one by one. Thank you for your hard but great and beautiful testimony of commitment and hope, which personally challenges us, forcing us to strip ourselves of so many superstructures and take responsibility for what we have freely received. Pope Francis reminds each of us that "the most beautiful dreams are won with hope, patience and commitment, giving up haste" and the fear of making mistakes. "Even if you're wrong, you can always raise your head and start again, because no one has the right to steal your hope." Not for everyone generically, but for each one individually, for me, for you, for each in his specific life situation it is therefore a duty to "persevere on the road of dreams", which ultimately leads to taking off and leaving oneself.