Memores Domini: Pope Appoints Special Delegate

Monsignor Filippo Santoro, Archbishop of Taranto

Memores Domini
Vatican © Pxhere

Pope Francis, “demonstrating his interest in the experience of the Memores Domini and recognizing in its charism a manifestation of God’s grace,” has ordered a change in the Association’s management, appointing as his Special Delegate Monsignor Filippo Santoro, Archbishop of Taranto.

The Holy See Press Office reported today, Friday, September 24, 2021, that, beginning September 25, the Special Delegate “will assume temporarily with full powers, ad nutum of the Apostolic See, the government of the Association, to safeguard its charism and preserve the unity of its members. At the same time, the Association’s present general government ceases.”

The Dicastery for the Laity, the Family, and Life also appointed Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda as Pontifical Assistant for canonical matters related to the Association.

Memores Domini

 The Dicastery for the Laity states that it is a lay Association founded in Milan, Italy, in 1964, under the guidance of Father Luigi Giussani, by the initiative of some laypeople, stemming from the experience of the Gioventù Studentesca [Student Youth]. Beginning in 1968, the members of the Memores Domini saw the need to live in common and constituted themselves in Families.

Having spread in Italy and abroad, the Association was erected canonically in 1981 by the Bishop of Piacenza, Monsignor Enrico Manfredini. On December 8, 1988, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed the recognition of the same as International Association of Faithful.

It brings together people of the Communion and Liberation Fraternity, who follow a vocation of total surrender to God, living in the world and practicing the evangelical counsels assumed as a personal and private commitment, emitted in the form of intention. There are two salient factors in its spiritual project: contemplation, understood as “tendentiously continuous memory of Christ.” The mission, which is a passion to take the Christian proclamation to the life of men, is carried out by meeting them especially in workplaces, which is the normal ambit of witness.

The Memore Domini live a life in common, in masculine and feminine houses, where the rule of silence, personal and communal prayer, poverty, obedience, and fraternal charity is practiced. The object of these houses is mutual edification in the memory, in view of the mission.

Four times a year, the members take part in spiritual retreats and, once a year, in a course of Spiritual Exercises. The aspirants enter and form part of a house after the first year of testing and, during the whole period of the first formation, which lasts at least five years; they take part in monthly meetings of formation and in spiritual retreats geared to this purpose.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester