"I'll Be A Saint If I Am One Now"
Saint Augustine often said that "love
makes us beautiful". It definitely made
Chiara Luce Badano, the latest young adult
to be beatified, radiant.
Born in 1971 in northern Italy, Chiara
the only child of a truck-driver, Ruggero
and Maria Teresa. She came after eleven
of marriage. She had a normal childhood
its joys and misgivings. "One
Chiara came home with a beautiful red
I asked her where it came from. She
that she had taken it from our neighbor's
orchard. I explained to her that she
had to ask before taking anything and
she had to take it back and apologize.
was reluctant to do this because she
too embarrassed. I told her that it
more important to own up than to eat
So Chiara took the apple back to our
and explained everything to her."
When she was nine years old, she attended
a meeting of the young people of the
movement, a Catholic ecclesial reality
promotes the ideals of unity and universal
brotherhood. She remained within their
until death. As she grew up, Chiara
ever more popular amongst her friends.
was good at sports - tennis, swimming,
She was average at school; math gave
lots of problems. She wanted to be
God has a knack however to disrupt
with His better plans! While playing
one day, she experienced a very sharp
in her shoulder. It was the beginning
the end. The doctors diagnosed she
- one of the most painful forms of
It is still sixth leading cancer in
under age 15.
"I'm young. I'm sure I'll make
she initially thought. She did not!
continued to spread. She did her best
live a normal happy life. She got a
from Chiara Lubich, the initiator of
Focolare movement. Now she was called
which means light.
When she could, she reached out. Setting
aside her own need to rest, she spent
walking around the wards with a drug-dependent
girl suffering from serious depression.
meant getting out of bed despite the
caused by the huge growth on her spine.
have time to rest later," she
She had to undergo surgery twice. The
chemotherapy treatment caused her to
her hair, which she was very proud
each lock of hair fell, she would say
"For you, Jesus". Her constant
reaction was "If you want it Jesus,
so do I". When she lost the use
legs, Chiara said, "I no longer
legs, but the Lord has given me wings".
She refused to take morphine. "It
my lucidity," she said, "and
only one thing I can do now: to offer
suffering to Jesus because I want to
as much as possible in his suffering
Together with her mother, she prepared
her "wedding celebration",
funeral. It was Sunday afternoon, October
7th that she was called to meet Him.
last words to her mother were, "Mom,
be happy, because I am. Bye."
eighteen years old.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
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