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To Frère Aloïs and to the Taizé Community

In this year in which the Taizé Community is celebrating three anniversaries, the 75th of its founding, the 100th of Br Roger’s birth, and the 10th of his death, I join in your activity of giving thanks to God, He who always creates new faithful witnesses until the end. I have entrusted to my Venerable Brother Cardinal Kurt Koch the task of imparting to you and to all members of your Community the assurance of my affection.

As Pope Benedict XVI said to young people, on the occasion of the European Meeting organized by the Taizé Community of Rome in 2012, Br Roger was a “tireless witness to the Gospel of peace and reconciliation, ardently committed to an ecumenism of holiness” (Speech on 29 December 2012).

It was this fire that urged him to found a community which can be considered a true “parable of communion” which, up to today, has played such an important role in building bridges of fraternity among Christians.

In seeking with passion the unity of the Church, Body of Christ, Br Roger opened himself up to the treasures safeguarded in the different Christian traditions without, however, causing a rupture with his Protestant origin. With the perseverance by which he gave proof during his long life, he helped to modify the relations between still distant Christians, marking for many a path of reconciliation.

Nourished by Holy Scripture, Br Roger also took inspiration from the holy Fathers of the Church, he drew from Christian sources and knew how to render them current among the young. Br Roger understood the younger generations; he had confidence in them. He made Taizé a meeting place where the youth of the whole world felt respected and accompanied in their spiritual search.

Br Roger loved the poor, the disowned, who seemingly counted for nothing. He showed, with his existence and with that of his brothers, that prayer goes hand in hand with human solidarity.

I give thanks to God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for the gift of Br Roger’s life, up to his violent death. May the Taizé Community always maintain the passion of the witness he bore to Christ Risen and the appeal that he ceaselessly renewed to “choose to love”.

From the Vatican, 16 August 2015



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