Manuela Camagni2.jpgWhat follows is Pope Benedict XVI’s message sent on
the occasion of the Mass of Christian Burial for Manuela Camagni, 56, a member
of the association of Memores Domini (the consecrated lay group of Communion
& Liberation) who with 3 other Memores worked for the Pope in his personal apartments
at the Vatican. As mentioned in a blog post last week, Manuela was killed
Tuesday/Wednesday after being struck by a car. The Reverend Monsignor Georg
Ganswein, the Pope’s personal secretary, read the message at the funeral, Monday
in Bagno di Romagna, Emilia-Romagna (northern Italian city). The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at La Chiesa di San Piero in Bagno di Romagna.

I would willingly
have presided over the funeral of dear Manuela Camagni, but –as you can
imagine– it was not possible for me. However, communion in Christ allows us
Christians a real spiritual closeness, in which we share the prayer and
affection of the heart. In this profound bond I greet all of you, in particular
Manuela’s family, the diocesan bishop, the priests, the Memores Domini, and her

I would like to give here very briefly my testimony of our sister, who
has gone to heaven. Many of you knew Manuela for a long time. I was able to
benefit from her presence and her service in the papal apartment, in the last
five years, in a family dimension. Because of this I wish to thank the Lord for
the gift of Manuela’s life, for her faith, for her generous response to her
. Divine Providence led her to a discreet but precious service in the
Pope’s house. She was happy about this and took part joyfully in family
moments: at Holy Mass in the morning, at vespers, at meals in common and in the
various and significant happenings of the house.

Her departure, so sudden, and
also the way in which she was taken, have given us great grief, which only
faith can console. I find much support in thinking of the words that form the
name of her community: Memores Domini
. Meditating on these words, on the
meaning, I find a sense of peace, because they call to a profound relationship
that is stronger than death
. Memores Domini means: “those who remember the
Lord,” namely, persons who live in the memory of God and Jesus, and in
this daily remembrance, full of faith and love, they find the meaning of
everything, from small actions to great choices, of work, study and fraternity.
The memory of the Lord fills the heart with profound joy, as an ancient hymn of
the Church
says: “Jesu dulcis memoria, dans vera cordis gaudia
[Jesus sweet memory, that gives true joy to the heart].

Hence, because of this
it gives me peace to think that Manuela is a “memor Domini,” a person
who lived in the memory of the Lord. This relationship with him is more
profound than the abyss of death. It is a bond that nothing and no one can
break, as St. Paul says: “[Nothing] can separate us from the love of God,
in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). Yes, if we remember the Lord, it
is because he first remembers us. We are “memores Domini” because he
is “memor nostri,” he remembers us with love of a parent, a brother,
a friend, also at the moment of death.
If at times it seems that at that moment
he is absent, that he forgets us, in reality we are always present to him, we
are in his heart. Wherever we fall, we fall into his hands. Precisely there,
where no one can accompany us, God awaits us: He is our Life.

Dear brothers and
sisters, in this faith full of hope, which is Mary’s faith near the cross of
Jesus, I celebrated the Mass for Manuela’s soul the very morning of her death.
And while I accompany with prayer the Christian rite of her burial, I impart
with affection to her family, her fellow sisters and all of you my blessing.