Rome Italy. The Congress on “The Tenderness Revolution. The Heart of Mary ” took place in Rome from February 22 to 24, 2019. It has been a joint initiative of two religious institutes (the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – Claretians – and the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd) and of a Society of Apostolic Life (the Congregation of Jesus and Mary – Eudists). The congress was also sponsored by the Pontifical International Marian Academy (PAMI), the Pontifical Marianum Theological Faculty and the Italian Mariological Association (AMI). The first two days were developed in the spacious and modern auditorium Antonianum (Viale Manzoni 1). On Sunday 24, the final conference, by Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, took place at the Teatro Euclide. The Eucharist, presided over by the Cardinal himself, was celebrated in the Basilica of the Heart of Mary of Parioli. Both spaces belong to our Congregation.
The full program of the congress, attended by an average of 150 people, including many Claretians from the General Curia and the Claretianum, can be found at www.ccormariae.com. Fr. José María Hernández, parish priest of the Basilica of the Immaculate Heart of Mary ai Parioli in Rome, was the representative of the General Government in the organizing committee. In the development of the congress, Fr. Gonzalo Fernández, General Prefect of Spirituality, also participated as moderator of some of the sessions, in charge of presenting the testimonies of the young people and of the prayer of the first day. Two of the papers were delivered by two other Claretians from the Province of Santiago. Pablo Largo, director of the magazine Ephemerides Mariologicae, spoke on “The Theology of the Heart of Mary. Trajectory and balance.” José Cristo Rey García spoke about “The Heart of Mary in the heart of the mission. Pastoral approach.” Both presentations, delivered in Italian, were highly appreciated.
This congress, held together with other institutes with which we share the spirituality of the Heart of Mary, can be a new opportunity to promote our cordimarian identity, as well as some initiatives that have to do with the renewal of the Archconfraternity of the Heart of Mary, the impulse to the votive temple of Rome, etc. In a cold and hardened world, the “revolution of tenderness”, impelled by Pope Francis, constitutes the “heart” supplement that is needed to humanize it from the key of the Heart of Mary. In the brief message that Pope Francis addressed to the participants of the Congress, he invited them to always look at his Heart.