Marco Aquini left us a few weeks ago, at 60 years of age.
Our warm farewell to one of the pillars of our NGO since its foundation. He worked for its consolidation and development with humble, sober and competent work, step after step, up to last Assembly last spring.
A pioneer. New Humanity had come to life just a few months before, when in 1987, Marco, who was only 28, was elected Secretary General of the same NGO. "He was a skilled but unassuming young man, with deep humility — as Virginio Grillo, then Chairman of the Board, remembers. Marco kept those characteristics throughout his life.
Youth and Solidarity. Marco was among the pioneers of the NGO Action for a United World (AMU) and later its Secretary General until 1996. He was then responsible for the Youth for a United World Movement until the early 2000s, and for many years he had the opportunity to assist and lead the two tracks that inspire the contribution of New Humanity at international level, respectively in the field of international solidarity and youth.
Human Rights. Marco wisely spearheaded New Humanity, using his expertise in particular in the field of international organizations and human rights, until the last few years when he followed the work that our NGO is doing to achieve a Declaration on the human right to international solidarity.
A meek person and a peacemaker. Prof. Esther Salamanca, a New Humanity expert on the Right to International Solidarity, notes “In the over ten years of work together, thanks to his serenity, his attentive listening, his availability and charity Marco was always like a compass and beacon in an ocean that was difficult to navigate.”
A brother to rely on. Chantal Grévin, first representative of New Humanity in Paris, echoes “This is how Marco was: he would understand the problem and take action to find a solution, focusing on the essentials calmly and with a positive attitude. That's why I always saw him as an older brother, although I'm older than him.”
In daily life. David Bilardi, New Humanity expert for Human Rights, recalls “I met Marco when I was a student and thanks to him I continued to work for New Humanity. However, what impressed me most about him, besides the fact that he had great expertise in many areas, was how he lived his daily life: every time I went to see him, I was surprised by the maternal care he had toward the community of focolarini he lived with.
“All you need to say is simply: “Yes, yes”, “No, no.” (Mt 5:37). Undoubtedly, without proclaiming, but with great dedication, Marco very well embodied the words of the Gospel that Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement and of New Humanity, suggested that he take as the motto of his life, to illuminate his actions.
The relationship continues. As he himself recalled on the occasion of his sister's funeral: “With those who have reached paradise we can continue to have a relationship similar to the one we had on earth, and even more intense. If we accept with joy the separation from our loved ones, our unity with them will be full anywhere on the earth.”
Thank you Marco! Despite the pain of separation, these words express so well what all of us are feeling. We continue to work together for universal brotherhood.
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