This editorial essay is intended to contextualize Chiara Lubich’s 1961 talk about her mystical experiences during the summer of 1949. These experiences marked the beginning of a period of illumination, referred to as “Paradise ’49,” that continued to 1951. Shared in a unique way with her companions, these experiences became foundational for the future life and thought of the Focolare. In order to add contextualization, first this essay places Lubich’s experiences in the history of Christian spirituality based on the scholarship of Piero Coda. Second, through examining letters written by Chiara Lubich, this essay explores the history of her spirituality from the founding of the Focolare in 1943 to the summer of 1949. Finally, it looks at the text of the 1961 talk in order to help clarify the meaning of the experiences.
"Editorial Essay: Contextualizing “Paradise ’49”,"
Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/claritas/vol1/iss1/4