Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 25 January |
The Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul
home iconChurch
line break icon

Meet a 19-year-old boy of heroic virtue

Matteo farina

Matteofarina.com

Larry Peterson - published on 05/12/20

Matteo Farina had a special devotion to Padre Pio, who told him in a dream that the secret to happiness is avoiding sin.

Matteo Farina was born in Avellino, Italy, on September 19, 1990. It was apparent early in his life that Matteo possessed a deeply spiritual side. He would recite the Rosary every day, read the Gospel, and he developed a devotion to St. Padre Pio and St. Francis of Assisi. 

This all before he was 9 years old.

Matteo had had a dream in which St. Pio came to him and revealed the secret of Christian happiness. Padre Pio asked Matteo to spread the message to others. The announcement was, “You must understand that who is without sin is happy, then you have to teach it to the others so that we can go all together happily in the heavenly paradise.”

This dream led Matteo to realize that his vocation was to evangelize, and he wrote, “I hope to succeed as an ‘infiltrator’ among the young people, telling them what God wants. I look around me, and I want to enter in young people’s lives quietly like a virus, infecting them with an incurable illness called love.” 

Some months later, at age 8, he made his first Confession, and on June 4, 2000, received his First Holy Communion. He would go to confession once a week and attend Eucharistic Adoration as often as he could. 

On May 10, 2003, the Archbishop of Brindisi, Ostuni Settimo, gave Matteo the Sacrament of Confirmation. His sister, Erika, acting as his sponsor, stood behind him with her hand on his shoulder.

Matteo’s cancer first surfaced when he was 13 years old. Severe headaches and problems with his vision began to occur. His parents and his Uncle Rosario traveled with Matteo for health checks in Avellino and Verona, and those visits were followed by a journey to Hanover for a brain biopsy. It was discovered his brain was filled with malignant cells. 

His strong faith and love of life never faded. He smiles at everyone, and even when recovering from surgeries, he tried to cheer up other patients. He would say, “It is useless to despair. We have to be happy and transmit happiness. The more happiness we give people, the more people are happy. The more they are happy, the more we are happy.”

In January 2005, he went to Germany for a craniotomy operation to remove a Stage 3 brain tumor. He spent over a month in Milan receiving chemotherapy treatments and returned home on April 2, 2005. This was the date that Pope John Paul II died.

For a while, doctors believed his cancer had gone into remission, but at the end of 2007, his condition grew worse. By October 2008, his mom suggested he receive the Anointing of the Sick. 

It was during these teen years that he met a girl named Serena. They fell in love and always strove to have a chaste relationship. Serena remained at Matteo’s side until the end. He said of Serena that “she was the most beautiful gift the Lord could give.”

He underwent another operation, but by February 2009, his arm and leg were paralyzed, and he needed a wheelchair to get around. In late March 2009, he developed a high fever and was admitted to the hospital. Archbishop Talucci visited him and gave him an Easter blessing. 

Doctors could do no more. Matteo received his last Holy Communion on April 13, 2009, and died one week later, on April 24. He was just 19 years old.

Matteo Farina’s mission may be summed up in his own words, “My God, I have two hands, let one of them to be always clasped to You in order to hold You closer in every trial. And let the other hands fall throughout the world if this is Your will … as I know You by others, so let others know You through me. I want to be a mirror, the clearest possible, and if this is Your will, I want to reflect Your light in the heart of every man. Thanks for Life. Thanks for Faith. Thanks for Love. I’m Yours.”

Matteo’s reputation for personal holiness had been witnessed by many. He was declared a Servant of God on April 11, 2016. On May 5, 2020, Pope Francis declared him a person of “heroic virtue” and gave him the title of Venerable Matteo Farina.

Venerable Matteo Farina, please pray for us.


CARLO ACUTIS

Read more:
Update: Young “computer geek” Carlo Acutis will be beatified in October 2020


PADRE PIO,I ABSOLVE YOU

Read more:
Padre Pio says God is “obliged” to answer this type of prayer

Tags:
SaintsYouth
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
2
Philip Kosloski
When did Christians start praying the Hail Mary?
3
Philip Kosloski
What are the corporal works of mercy?
4
PHILIP RIVERS
Cerith Gardiner
Quarterback Philip Rivers' retirement announcement reflects his s...
5
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
6
CONSOLE
Philip Kosloski
What are the spiritual works of mercy?
7
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
The 4 Ways to read Scripture every Catholic should know
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.