A testimony by Franco Nembrini e Aleksandr Filonenko
Franco Nembrini, dean of the School Center “La Traccia”, introduced the meeting-testimony titled: “What awakens humanity”, at 11.15 in Room D5 with Aleksandr Filonenko, Prof. of Philosophy at the National University of Ukraina Char’kov. A large number of people filled the Room D5 because of the fascinating topic in line with the theme: “The Human Person: a State of Emergency”.
Nembrini wanted to begin by presenting a friend, met by chance, after the reading by the Russian teacher on his latest text “From father to son, talks about the risk of educating.” The teacher from Bergamo, excited, described him as his friend: “What hit me about him was the fact that in everything he sees he recognizes a source, he is a man which let himself be swept by what happens, because he recognizes a beginning in it and let himself be moved by it”. Both speakers shared with the audience some meetings in their life which made them increasingly aware of the grace represented by the Christian experience.
Filonenko began his testimony: “I’m very pleased to see so many people in this room who want to share such intimate experiences. I was a boy grew up in the Soviet communism, believing that religion was useless and boring, but the encounter with Father Pavel Florensky has changed my life, because his experience made me realize that Christianity is instead a new and more interesting way of seeing reality. So I came out of the prevailing mentality which used to speak about religion as a palliative. I had to answer the question that I had opened in the heart: what made this man so alive? “This meeting was followed by others that led to the creation of works such as Emmaus, born from the encounter with Rosalba and her charity giving a shelter for unmarried mothers, from which he understood the unique value of the person which led him to a wider engagement in social life.
In this context, the meeting with Communion and Liberation: “When I discovered this movement, I understood the importance of recognizing Christ in every meeting, because every meeting carries the depth of the Gospel, each meeting is a chance to meet Christ “. This consciousness becomes increasingly radical through the meeting with a sick child, met at the Emmaus Project, an organization assisting people in distress. The little girl, long subjected to dialysis, was aware of his impending doom of death. “The little one just wanted someone which would have wanted to share his life with her, because she needed to share, and there – Filonenko continues – I discovered that Christianity is this ability to share the fate, because men need one who share his fate with them. The Soviet man lives as an orphan. The whole system was built on terrible father figures and we did not know what was the father, until God sent us Franco Nembrini. ”
Filonenko said he had discovered with his friend Franco three things: that the father is the one who teaches what is worth living, that the children forgive everything to the fathers, but not the lack of hope and that fathers are also the saints who carry in their hearts the joy of forgiveness.
Nembrini accounts for the experience of forgiveness made by a friend who for many years had fled his relationship with the Mystery, which was found in the forgiveness received by an elderly priest: “The beginning is always this forgiveness, which leads to the story of someone “. And referring to Dante he continues, “Dante in Canto XXXIII of Paradise asks Our Lady that every cloud unfold, and Our Lady contents him and there Dante sees a face, the face of God; there he finds himself, the joy coming from the fact of being and not because of the results that one seeks in life. ”