Virgin, cancer sufferer — (1971-1990)
+ Chiara was born into a working class family in Savona, Italy.
+ A happy and pious child, she enjoyed tennis, swimming, singing and dancing. She became a member of the Focolare Movement when she was nine years old. She is often known by the nickname “Luce,” which was given to her by Chiara Lubich, the foundress of the Focolare Movement.
+ When she was 16, Chiara was diagnosed with cancer in her shoulder. Only a short time before she had begun to consider a religious vocation, thinking of serving as a missionary.
+ The cancer soon spread beyond her shoulder and affected her spine and she was left paralyzed. Recognizing the severity of her condition, she dedicated her remaining time to prayer.
+ Blessed Chiara Badano died on October 7, 1990. The cause for her beatification was opened in 1999. At that time, the bishop of the Diocese of Acqui remarked that the decision to pursue beatification was based on Chiara’s “way of living, especially the extraordinary example she gave during the last stages of her life.” Chiara was beatified in 2010.
The Focolare Movement, of which Blessed Chiara was a member, was established in 1948 by Chiara Lubich. The international movement is present in 180 countries and its members are committed to working for Christian unity, promoting full communion with Christians of different churches, and promoting a spirit of universal brotherhood/sisterhood among all peoples, regardless of religious beliefs.
“Oh, Mama… young people… young people… they are the future. You see, I can’t run anymore, but how I would like to pass on to them the torch, like in the Olympics! Young people have only one life and it’s worthwhile to spend it well.”—Blessed Chiara Badano
Hear us, God our Savior, that, as we rejoice in commemorating the Virgin blessed Chiara, we may be instructed by her loving devotion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Virgins)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.