The Focolare Movement, an organization dedicated to unity among all peoples, has requested that Bishop Raffaello Martinelli of Frascati begin an inquiry into the life of its founder, Chiara Lubich.

"This act invites us all to a life of greater holiness, lived day by day to contribute towards collective sanctity, that sanctity of the people so dear to Chiara's heart," said Maria Voce, president of the movement, Dec. 7.

Lubich founded the Focolare Movement in 1943 "as a current of spiritual and social renewal," according to its website.

Its purpose is to "build a more united world, following the inspiration of Jesus' prayer to the Father 'May they all be one,' respecting and valuing diversity," while focusing on dialogue.

Lubich died in 2008 in Rocca di Papa, a town in the Diocese of Frascati, a Roman suburb. The local bishop's opening of her cause for canonization would involve an inquiry into her life and holiness through interviewing those who knew her and examining her writings.

A statement from the movement indicated that "both ordinary and prominent people, Catholics, members of other Churches, religions and cultures have expressed their hope that this process would be started for Chiara Lubich. It has been said that such recognition will encourage many to take a further personal, spiritual and moral commitment for the good of humanity."

When Lubich died, Benedict XVI said her death "came at the end of a long and fruitful life marked by her tireless love for the abandoned Jesus."

"I thank the Lord for the witness of her life, spent in listening to the needs of modern man in complete faithfulness to the Church and to the Pope...I hope that those who knew and met her, admiring the wonders that God achieved through her missionary ardor, may follow her footsteps and keep her charism alive."

Another member of the Focolare Movement, Chiara Badano, was beatified in 2010.