Stefania Proietti is the mayor of Assisi, Italy. The following Easter letter is to the residents of Assisi, and she wanted to share it with us. In turn, we wanted to share her beautiful message of hope with you.
Today more than ever I feel the need to reach out to you as we share a time that we never expected to face. An invisible enemy has upset our lives, our thoughts of the future, our institutional, and our work activities. It has generated fear for us and our loved ones, and a general sense of total bewilderment. Even in concern, we must try to see this great test with a prophetic gaze: in these Easter days we would have had shrines, streets, squares, structures overflowing with people; instead we find ourselves in an empty Assisi that appears surreal to us in its great beauty almost empty of life.
We think first of all of our fellow citizens who are experiencing COVID-19 in their lives and dearest relatives, recognizing in them all those who, in Italy and in the world, are suffering directly from this pandemic. The good news, in this different Easter, is that today we have six people recovered from only 30 positive cases since the beginning of this emergency. Good news, which I hope will calm your hearts and instill hope in all of you.
Let’s start now, together, soberly, humbly, to think about the future. May we start from the love of St. Francis, who, stripping himself of everything, has become a giant of the Church and of universal spirituality, and has made our city great, over centuries, in history and in the collective imagination. Now more than ever Assisi, the city of the patron saint of Italy, will be an emblem of hope and rebirth for the world: in the authenticity of the Franciscan message we can find the strength of real life through solidarity and the preferential option for the poor and needy.
Let us place ourselves at the service of a city that must find the strength to be reborn as a “rising sun” for all of Italy. Because Assisi, as soon as possible, will start first and with the strength that comes from being the city of St. Francis, city-message for the entire human family, chosen by Pope Francis also to change the global economy, which now is showing all of its fragility. In the health, economic and social emergency, the whole administration and I as mayor, ask you to be protagonists of our future: only together, in solidarity. Only together, in solidarity and social cohesion, making ourselves a single family, as a united and supportive community, will we overcome this challenge and be reborn stronger than ever.