Blessed Chiara Badano


Feast day: October 29

In 1971, after more than 10 years of praying and hoping for a baby, Ruggero and Teresa Badano of Sassello, Italy, welcomed a little girl they named Chiara on October 29, 1971 in their hometown of Sassello, Italy.

Even at the age of four, Chiara seemed aware of the needs of others. She would sort her toys to give to poor children, and she would never just give away the old or broken ones. She invited less fortunate people to the family's home for vacations and visited the elderly in a retirement home. When other children were sick and bedridden, Chiara visited them. She loved the stories of the gospel and loved going to mass. She was an ordinary, cheerful girl who liked to play sports, go out, listen to music and socialize with friends and distinguished herself in the courage she drew from her faith.

In the summer of 1988, Chiara felt a stab of pain in her shoulder while playing tennis. At first she thought nothing of it, but when the pain persisted, she went through a series of tests. The doctors then discovered that she had a rare and painful form of bone cancer called osteogenic sarcoma. In response, Chiara simply stated, "It's for you, Jesus; if you want it, I want it too."

Throughout the treatment process, Chira refused to take morphine so she could stay informed. She felt it was important to know her illness and pain so that she could sacrifice her suffering. She said: "It diminishes my clarity and there is only one thing I can do now: offer my suffering to Jesus because I want to share as much as possible in his suffering on the cross. During her hospital stay, she would have the time to went for a walk with another patient who was struggling with depression. These walks were beneficial for the other patient, but caused a lot of pain in Chiara. Her parents often encouraged her to stay and rest, but she simply replied, "I will go in be able to sleep later."

One of her doctors, Antonio Delogu, said: "By her smile and her eyes full of light, she showed us that there is no death; only life exists." A friend of the Focolare movement said: "At first we thought we would visit her to keep her going, but we soon realized that we were in fact the ones who needed her. Her life was like a magnet that kept us going. attracted to her."

Chiara kept her spirits up even when the heavy chemotherapy caused her hair to fall out. If a lock of her hair fell, Chiara would simply offer it to God, saying, "For you, Jesus." She also donated all of her savings to a friend who was doing missionary work in Africa. She wrote to him: 'I don't need this money anymore. I've got everything.'

To prepare her parents for life after her death, Chiara made dinner reservations for Valentine's Day after they refused to leave her bed and ordered her not to return until after midnight. At Christmas, she wrote, "Merry Christmas 1990. Thanks for everything. Happy New Year," on a Christmas card and hid it among some blank cards for her mother to find later.

During a painful medical procedure, Chiara was visited by a lady. As she described the experience: "As the doctors started performing this small, but quite demanding procedure, a lady came in with a very beautiful and radiant smile. She came up to me and took my hand, and her touch filled me with courage The same way she arrived she disappeared and I could no longer see her But my heart was filled with immense joy and all fear left me In that moment I understood that if we were always ready for everything, God sends us many signs of his love."

Chiara's faith and spirit never waned, even after she was unable to walk due to the cancer and a CAT scan showed all hope for a cure was gone. In response, she simply said, "If I had to choose between walking again and going to heaven, I wouldn't hesitate. I would choose heaven." On July 19, 1989, Chiara nearly died of a hemorrhage. Her faith did not waver when she said, "Shed no tears for me. I am going to Jesus. At my funeral I do not want people to cry, but to sing with all their heart."

Cardinal Saldarini, Archbishop of Turin, Italy, heard about Chiara's illness and visited her in the hospital. He asked her, “The light in your eyes is beautiful. Where is it from?' Chiara simply replied, "I try to love Jesus as much as possible."

When Chiara realized she was not going to get better, she started planning her "marriage" (her funeral) to her mother. She chose the music, songs, flowers and the readings for the mass. She wanted to be buried in her "wedding dress," a white dress with a pink waist, because her death would enable her to become the bride of Christ. She told her mother, "When you get me ready, Mom, keep telling yourself, 'Chiara Luce sees Jesus now.'" Before dying, she said to her mother, "Oh, Mom, young people... young people...they are the future You see I can't run anymore but how I wish I could pass the torch to them like at the Olympics Young people have only one life and it's worth it right to spend ."

During her last hours, Chiara made her last confession and received the Eucharist. She had her family and friends pray with her, "Come, Holy Ghost." She died at 4 a.m. on October 7, 1990 at the age of 18 in Sassello, Italy, with her parents at her bedside. Her last words were, "Hello Mom, be happy, because that's me." Two thousand people attended her funeral; the mayor of Sassello closed the town so people could attend.

Chiara's cause for holiness was promoted by Livio Maritano, the former Bishop of Acqui Terme, Italy, beginning in 1999. It was through this process that she was named "Venerable" on July 3, 2008. In December 2009, Pope Benedict XVI recognized the miracle of a young Italian boy whose parents intervened with Chiara to cure him of meningitis that destroyed his organs. His doctors could not medically explain his sudden recovery.

Chiara on September 25, 2010 was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome.