We are here tonight to remember Daphne Caruana Galizia, a courageous woman.
On behalf of the Community of Sant’Egidio, I’m here to convey our solidarity to Daphne’s family, to the people who supported her with affection, to those who are carrying on her project.
We learn about Daphne’s story thanks to Daphne project, which involves some Italian journalists and, more closely, through the words of Manuel Delia who spoke about her in March during an international meeting on Mediterranean cities hosted by the Community of Sant’ Egidio in Livorno.
Daphne’s courage, her love for her people and her homeland, her determination to change a difficult situation, even at the cost of her life, moved us.
When Manuel ended his speech, in front of Daphne’s photo there was a long standing ovation. This gesture showed deep esteem for Daphne, for all of you and for Malta.
Listening to Manuel’s words – how he got personally and courageously involved in these events – we felt a closeness and a deep understanding, a common perspective between our experiences.
In the life of those who belong to Sant’Egidio, there is a search for justice, which comes from the faith in God and from the love for those who live in poverty and marginalization.
The love for the poor led us to the outskirts of Italian cities and from there to other cities of the world, where we met the sad consequences of violence and war.
The love for the human kind pushed the Community to work at finding solutions to endless conflicts, for example in Mozambique. We do so in a simple and free way, looking for allies and friends who, like ourselves, want to do something against both little and huge injustices.
That is what happened with Manuel and Daphne. We identified ourselves in a common goal and a sincere friendship. That’s why we’re here, to state that we are close to you and we share the same feelings. Daphne has a voice that re-echoes on the opposite shore of this sea.
We know the price that those with clean hands sometimes have to pay.
I could tell you about a little unknown men, some friends who were part of Sant’Egidio.
Floribert Bwana Chui, a young Congolese customs officer from Goma, who was murdered for not having succumbed to corruption.
William Quijano, just twenty-one years old, killed in San Salvador because he was trying to free the teenagers from the violence of maras (the local powerful gangs).
I could tell you about great men, like the Sicilian judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, both killed in 1992 by the mafia with a car bomb, to stop the great work done by these true servants of the State.
They are martyrs for justice. Sometimes it happens that for a long time they are not recognized as such or that their memory is blemished by lies. But they are people we owe so much to. They are lights in the dark, as well as this remembrance of Daphne.
Remembering Daphne today, the 16th of June 2019, we are halfway between the recurrences of the murder of Falcone and Borsellino (May 23 and July 16). We must feel the real value of these lives, and we must not accept that they are wasted. We feel the value of these lives, at least I feel it when a little of them (their courage, their responsibility, their generosity…) continues to live inside myself, inside ourselves.
Before such lives, it is important not to forget, but to make them live within us and within the culture of our cities.
I saw in Sicily the value that memory has, the role it has in giving birth and keeping growing a spiritual movement that changes the culture. In Sicily, in fact, there was a historical consensus to the mafia!
I remember these two Sicilian judges going to speak in the schools because they believed that investing in the children was worthwhile. They strongly believed that the mafia was not invincible.
They were convinced that besides fighting and repression, there was a need to wake up and change consciences, to give real opportunities of development to those who were at greater risk to commit a crime. Giovanni Falcone used to say: “The mafia is a human phenomenon and like all human phenomena has a beginning, an evolution and will therefore also have an end “.
And Borsellino once said: “The fight against the mafia must not only be a detached work of repression. It should be also a cultural and moral movement that involves everyone and especially the young generations, the most suitable to immediately feel the beauty of the fresh fragrance of freedom. This fragrance makes one refuse the stink of moral compromise, indifference, complicity”.
I would like to express all my respect and deep sympathy for the work that is being done here and elsewhere in memory of Daphne.
There is another sentence from the judge Borsellino that is very dear to me. He said: “I didn’t like my city at first, so I learned to love it. Because true love consists in loving what you don’t like so that you can change it.” I and my friends of Sant Egidio believe in this true love, determined to change what we don’t like. A true love rooted also here in Malta, that is why I am honoured to bring this tribute.
I wish you all, as well as myself, that in memory of Daphne, in what extraordinary she has been and in what she represents today for each of us, we can find a new meaning and a new energy, in order to be able to change with love what we don’t like and to make our country more just and human. We are and will be close to your work and your search for truth and justice, we will support it and we will always pray for it to be successful.