Stories of the care and promotion of the woman
Stories of the care and promotion of the woman
The ‘feminine genius’ is expressed in some testimonies tied to the symbol of spinning and weaving, an ancient trade proper to the woman, a sign of building, of generating, of taking care, of promoting, of creating spaces of freedom and openness to the future. This is what was recognized and valued in the round table “Feminine Genius in History”. It was an interdisciplinary approach to “Mulieris dignitatem” organized by the Woman and Education Study Center of the Auxilium Faculty, to celebrate the International Day of the Woman on March 8th. The protagonists of the ‘threads’ of the story were Lavinia Biagiotti, Vice President of the Biagiotti Group; Marta Cagnola journalist of Radio 24; together with Professor Marcella Farina, Professor of Fundamental Theology; and Professor Claudio Duca, religion teacher.
The event assumed a special tone, not only because it was held on the day of the “Celebration of Woman”, but rather because Biagiotti, Marta Cagnolae, and Marcella Farina are members of the Feminine Consultative Committee of the Pontifical Council for Culture, that was officially presented on March 7th during the Press Conference held at the Press Room of the Holy See.
After the greetings of the Principal of the Auxilium Faculty, Professor Pina Del Core, Professor Marcella Farina presented the objectives of the afternoon of study, that of “reflecting according to the indications of John Paul II on the “feminine genius”, on the dignity and vocation of the woman: a vocation that has a personal and prophetic dimension because she is the generator of the future”.
2018 will be the 30th anniversary of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Mulieris dignitatem”, a text in which for the first time appears the expression coined by John Paul II. The profound significance of the pontifical document is that the Church “in the light of Mary, reads on the face of the woman the reflections of a beauty that is the mirror for the highest sentiments of which the human heart is capable: the totality of altruistic love; the strength to resist the greatest sufferings; unlimited fidelity and tireless work; the capacity to join a penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement”.
There were three fundamental coordinates that Professor Farina highlighted in the text through the golden thread of gratitude toward the woman: “Union with God in the light of Mary, is lived by women in the symbol of maternity as a paradoxically equal rapport; the rapport Eve-Mary is expressed in positive terms insofar as Mary receives the mystery of Eve, the mother of the living and the door of the new beginning of Creation; the dimension of maternity-virginity that, beginning with the physical experience of the woman, becomes the symbol and architype of the profound value of femininity as virginity of the heart, clarity of mind, and integrity of life, and maternity understood as the capacity to receive life, accompany its growth, and readiness to let its take its course”.
With the presentation of Professor Claudio Duca, religion teacher and doctoral candidate of the Faculty of Pedagogy and Didactic of Religion, “Mulieris dignitatem” is re-read with a biblical approach. He starts with some Old Testament texts presented in the letter itself, showing some references to Mary who becomes the feminine beacon, and some references to the relationship of Jesus with women. In his final considerations, Prof. Duca indicates the re-evaluation of the woman in her dignity: “As Eve is the Mother of the living and Mary regenerates the whole of humanity, thus the woman is called to regenerate the in education and formation of all those entrusted to her”. Another element is “In Mary, the woman is called to rediscover the value of virginity, of spousal life, and of maternity”, and also, “the dimension of service understood not as servility, but as adhesion to a plan where the role of the woman is that of being the one to whom is entrusted the human being in a special way”. In conclusion, “the emancipation of the woman will remain an illusion if at the same time, there is not a deep change in the mentality of the man. “Mulieris dignitatem” makes us take this journey of rediscovery of the woman through meditation on the biblical texts that question us making us rediscover the human being, and thus, woman, her dignity and her uniqueness, and thus, her prophetic role.”
The threads of life
The first life of ‘feminine genius’ was voiced by Lavinia Biagiotti, Vice President of the Biagiotti Group, a third generation family company that came from her mother, Laura, and her grandmother, Delia. Biagiotti is a professional activity that lives fashion as a human experience of dressing life, of protecting it, and defending it “so that it may radiate its dignity and beauty”. An expert spinner and weaver since her early youth, Lavinia Biagiotti recounts her passion for the art and of her ‘contamination’ with fashion, with research, and the introduction of citations in the collections, of the accomplishment of patronage activities, of promotion, and of the realization of important restorations, of theater and movie costumes, of the synergy between fashion and sport that led her to carry, as the first woman of fashion, the Winter Olympics Torch to Turin in 2006. She concluded, “Beauty unites different worlds, because the woman is harmony, a style for all occasions; a talent to educate”.
The second, instead, is entrusted to Marta Cagnola, Journalist of Radio 24 where, since 2000, she works with shows and pop and digital culture, heading transmissions in all the open slots. “I let myself be questioned by some expressions of “Mulieris dignitatem” and I put them in rapport with the journalism profession, and radio journalism”. Hers is a story of how necessary a style of communication “ala feminine” is, to assume the responsibility of a series, and often, sacrificed professional formation that is translated into the “capacity for work, for being attentive, for reaching out, for understanding, and for approaching, because I consider myself a ‘radio ballerina’, a journalist who likes to do her work by going around, consuming five inch heels, not the telephone”. Radio, unlike television, she explains, “is a media capable of keeping you company, of telling stories, and narrating facts, and this means translating difficult realities into very simple terms”. Cagnola calls it “social responsibility”, that is, “love your work, let yourself be questioned by the needs and the demands of the people”. A last element she emphasized was “the great organizational capacity of women, their knowing how to manage and put together even opposites at times”. Thus the wish that “they can have a career, not in the sense of reaching power, but rather, to be at the service of life, giving reason to one of their intrinsic ‘maternities’ which is to communicate and educate, think of the future and pass on the witness”.
Absent was Emanuela Bruni, journalist, because of her work at the Equal Opportunity Department of the Presidency of the Ministers Council. She was the office manager of the institutional publications of the Presidency of the Ministers Council and successively, the first woman to cover the role of Head of State Ceremonies. The synthesis of her presentation was read by Professor Marcella Farina: “The importance of the support of the woman in the development of society is by now an established fact. In addition, the woman has often been the bearer of innovations in the dark times of history. It is in those times that her spirit of attention, service, and refinement are rediscovered by society. It is a feminine specificity that does not contrast in any way with the affirmation of her equal dignity in relation to gender. The very evolution of feminism locates the search for equality in a vision of protection and safeguarding and not the destruction of diversity. Feminine sensibility can help to perceive in particular values how the human dimension of life, availability and solidarity toward others, care for and taking on the weakest as Pope John Paul II evidenced in ‘Mulieris Dignitatem’. The feminine presence in society can modify the logic that regulates politics and work in a vision of economic and cultural solidarity. In the end, it is a business of hope”.