Her encounter with God was “accidental” and happened in a church on Via del Corso in Rome (a popular main street in the city). Since then, Italian actress Beatrice Fazi has never abandoned the Lord for a single moment.
For a long time she was far from the faith, spending the first part of her life suffering from family problems, her brother’s difficulties and his bad friendships, academic failures, one romantic disappointment after another, and even an abortion. She left Christianity for Buddhism.
At a certain point in her life, she was finally saved by crossing paths with God and climbing back out of the abyss. The beautiful and smiling actress whom Italians admire on television screens has been through a real conversion, which has “reformed” the Beatrice of the past, who was dissatisfied with herself.
That day in church
The actress tells her story in the autobiographical book A New Heart (“Un cuore nuovo”). In the text, she describes the moment in which God entered her life and it almost makes you shiver.
While walking down the busy Roman street she “suddenly found myself in front of an open church, which seemed to invite me to enter. I don’t know why I agreed to what seemed to me to be an inescapable call. I was simply tired and wanted to sit down. The atmosphere was very quiet. I really felt that something very sacred was happening at that moment. I began to cry. For no reason.”
“I’m here and I love you”
That evening in the year 2000, Beatrice Fazi says she felt “sweetly welcomed, loved, protected, and awaited. As if all the Love I had always been looking for was there for me, just for me, waiting to console me, to tell me: ‘Stay. Stay. If you knew how long I’ve been waiting for you. I’m the one you’ve always been looking for. How beautiful you are, and you don’t even know it. Don’t be afraid. I’m here and I love you.’” Then she left the church, determined to give as little significance as possible to that event, which instead would prove to be the spark that changed her life.
Pierpaolo comes on the scene
In the meantime, she met Pierpaolo, with whom she fell in love. They started living together, and she became pregnant. He seemed to be a suitable man for her, unlike her previous romances. He was a lawyer, and very confident, but was divorced and an atheist.
“In September 2001, precisely on the 12th,” she recalls, “when the Church celebrates the Holy Name of Mary, my pregnancy test was positive. I called my mother, whose name is Maria, on the phone and, full of joy, I told her the news. After an interminable silence in which I thought the line had gone dead, she replied, ‘Beatrì … now you will understand many things….’”
Her mother’s prayers
Maria had previously tried several times to direct Beatrice towards God, without succeeding. “She admitted to me that during those years she had been worried about me and didn’t know how to help me, seeing me lost and unhappy. She began to pray and to entrust me to God’s Mercy. She told me that once she had even pinned a photograph of me on the back of a tapestry depicting a portrait of Jesus, at the level of His Divine Heart all aflame.” Thinking about all these things and putting the various pieces together, she says, “I realize how much discretion, how much delicacy God wanted to use in patiently courting me, without ever getting tired of my refusals.”
Fr. Fabio Rosini
A further push towards faith came from meeting with Fr. Fabio Rosini, the head of the Vocational Service of the Vicariate of Rome, known for a popular catechetical program he created. The priest helped Beatrice Fazi understand that “separation from God was the real sin, the root of the ‘impure acts’ that I was gradually committing, that unfillable emptiness that I had always felt, and in which I experienced the absence of love that made my life meaningless and that frightened me—especially now, when I was about to become a mother.”
The path of faith
Beatrice told the priest that the father of the baby she was expecting was divorced and an atheist, and Fr. Fabio explained to her he could not give her absolution and she could not have access to the Eucharist as long as she was in an irregular marriage situation.
After that meeting, the actress began a steady ascent. She began a journey of faith, going to Mass and going through Fr. Fabio’s catechetical program. She felt the presence of God in her day more and more intensely. Little by little she also brought her atheist husband closer to this “new life.”
Two beautiful children
Meanwhile, their days were brightened by the birth of Marialucia, a beautiful little girl, and shortly afterwards by the birth of a second child, Fabio, who was born healthy after a difficult pregnancy plagued by fear.
“Christ was the Way, the Truth and the Life to which I finally felt I wanted to belong,” she says in her book. Then, she and Pierpaolo jointly decided to remain chaste for a period of time, making a sort of vow. They asked the Lord to crown their dream and let them get married in the Church.
The dream of marriage
Beatrice Fazi’s beautiful story ends with her return to the sacraments alongside her ex-atheist husband. This was crowned by a beautiful wedding that came in 2008 after Pierpaolo’s previous marriage was annulled, just as both had asked the Lord. The couple have since had a second son, Giovanni (2013) and a fourth child, their daughter Maddalena (2015).
Today, the actress is more and more guided in all her actions by this thought: “It’s enough for me to know that God Almighty truly works in my life always and always fulfills those holy desires that He places through His Spirit in the new heart that He has given me”.