Thursday, March 25, 2010


Most of you know that I am not religious.  However, I do believe that there are some very special people in this world and that some things are inexplicable.  If it is faith that explains them, who am I to argue?  This is an article of mine which was published in Italy Magazine on Monday:

An Italian girl who died in 1989 at the age of eighteen is to be beatified on the 25th September this year. Beatification is an important step in the process towards sainthood and allows the person to be honoured by a particular group or in a particular region.

The Venerable Chiara “Luce” Badano was born in 1971 to Ruggero Badano, a truck driver, and his wife Maria Teresa Caviglia in Sassello [Liguria]. The family was hard-working and pious and Chiara was an open, friendly child who always cared about others, particularly the elderly.

When Chiara was nine years old, she joined the Focolare Movement, which works for unity between faiths. Though profoundly religious, Chiara was not “perfect”: she was strong-willed and, when she became a teenager, like teenagers all over the world, she argued with her parents about matters like what time she should be in at night. There were tears, too, when she failed some school exams. Chiara enjoyed walking, tennis, swimming, dancing and singing. Her original ambition was to become an air hostess but later she felt that her destiny was to become a missionary.

One day, when she was playing tennis, she experienced pain in her shoulder. Her doctor did not think it was anything serious and neither did Chiara. But the pain refused to go away and Chiara was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma at the age of 17.

At first she displayed a positive attitude, believing that she had a good chance of beating the disease because she was young. However, the cancer spread quickly and Chiara was admitted to hospital many times, undergoing painful surgery.

Eventually she accepted that she would die but this did not stop her helping others while she was in hospital. Of her need to rest, she said,

“I’ll have time to rest later.”

She corresponded regularly with Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolare Movement, and it was Lubich who gave Chiara the name of “Luce” [“Light”].

As Chiara’s hair fell out after chemotherapy, she said,

“For you, Jesus”

and when she lost the use of her legs she declared that she would rather go to heaven than walk.

Chiara’s friends visited her in hospital but soon realised that it was they who needed her and not the other way round. Chiara gave them courage and did the same for her doctors. She gave all her savings to a friend who was about to leave on a mission to Africa and said,

“I have nothing left but my heart and with that I can always love”.

She refused morphine for pain relief as it affected her lucidity and she offered her suffering to Christ, whom she referred to as her “bridegroom”. Convinced that she was going to Jesus, her last words, on 7th October 1989 were,

“Be happy because I am happy”.

With her mother Chiara had planned her funeral as a “wedding ceremony”. Two thousand people attended and she had asked them not to cry. Chiara’s tomb is now a place of pilgrimage.

Chiara “Luce” Badano will be the first member of the Focolare Movement to be beatified. Last year Pope Benedict approved a decree attributing the healing of a young boy with meningitis to her intercession.

Do you have a favourite saint?


Rosaria Williams said...

A beautiful person! No wonder!

Betty said...

That's such an uplifting article.

I'm not Catholic, so I have no favorite Saints.

Laura said...

That is a wonderful story. She was clearly a "light" for many. Thanks for sharing.

sally in norfolk said...

A lovely story and one we could all learn from :-)

James Higham said...

No doubt where she'll end up and free of pain too.

Claude said...

I love you with all my heart for sharing your uplifting article, and for saying that some spritual facts are inexplicable, and cannot be denied.

I have a strong faith in God. He has helped and sustained me in time of great trouble. He does shine through His special people, like this young woman. She is a witness of His love, and of His incomparable peace, no matter how difficult life can be.

"Light" has put tears of joy in my heart and soul. May God bless you richly, Pat, for telling us her story.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, lakeviewer. Yes, beautiful in every way. Thanks, Betty. I'm not Catholic either, but I like st Martin. Thank you, Laure. Yes, truly a "light". Hi, Sally. Yes, indeed. I agree, James. Thank you, Claudia, for your lovely comment. I do have a strong belief in spirituality. I envy you your faith.

Whispering Walls said...

She has a beautiful face. My favourite saints are St Swithun (of course!) and St Francis of Assisi

Ellee Seymour said...

That's such a touching story. She has the face of an angel too.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, WW. One has to like St Swithin! I like St Francis too. Hi, Ellee. Yes, she does.

Bella Baita Marla said...

That is quite an inspiring story, well told.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Bella.


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