Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Italian teen is getting closer to sainthood

This extraordinary teen's last words were, “Ciao. Be happy because I am.”

Rome, Jul 7, 2008 / 05:56 pm (CNA).- The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints issued a decree last week recognizing the heroic virtues of Chiara “Luce” Badano, a young Italian girl who belonged to the Focolare Movement and died in 1990 at the age of 18.

The new “Venerable” Chiara was born in Sassello, Liguria, on October 29, 1971, to the joy of her parents, truck driver Ruggero Badano, and Maria Teresa Caviglia, who waited eleven years to have a child.

“Amidst our great joy, we understood immediately that she was not only our daughter but also a daughter of God,” her mother said according to a biography published by Focolare.

Since childhood, Chiara showed a deep love for God and a strong but docile character. She was joyful, kind and very active.

At the age of nine she joined the Focolare Movement. In 1985 Chiara moved to Savona to continue her education, and according to her biographers, “She had a difficult time despite her great efforts. She was held back one year and this made her suffer greatly.”

Chiara had many friends and loved sports, especially tennis, swimming and hiking. She dreamed of being a flight attendant and enjoyed dancing and singing. However, at the age of 16 she decided to pursue the consecrated life.

She had a close relationship with the foundress of the Focolare, Chiara Lubich, who gave her the name, “Luce.”

Soon afterwards she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her shoulder. She began intense chemotherapy while she continued her daily life with the same joy and faith.

This joy and faith moved Chiara to give all of her savings to a friend who was going to be a missionary in Africa, even though she was ill.

Despite the efforts by doctors, her illness progressed rapidly and she lost the use of her legs. “If I had to choose between walking or going to heaven I’d choose heaven,” she told her family... (Continued here)

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