Feast Day: 29 October
A joyous life
Blessed Chiara Luce Badano was born in Sassello, northern Italy, on 29 October 1971. She was the only child of Ruggero and Maria Theresa Badano, and received a good Christian education from them.
Chiara Luce Badano joined the Focolare movement at the age of nine and received the nickname “Luce” by the founder, Chiara Lubich.
Described as always serene and joyous, Chiara enjoyed tennis and was part of a youth group. Moved by love for the weaker ones, the outcasts and everyone looked down on by society she loved and cared for them all whenever she met them, despite only being 14 years old.
She lived life to the full, not caring what others thought of her but solely living how would please Jesus and was quoted as saying “what matters is to be beautiful inside”.
When at 16 she was diagnosed with a particularly painful bone cancer called osteosarcoma she did not despair; she continued to love and often went round the hospital cheering up the other patients and offering up her suffering to Jesus. Her faith in God was unwavering and she was not afraid of dying, telling those who questioned her “God loves me immensely!”
Even towards the end, when her condition got considerably worse, she didn’t ask for the miracle but turned to Mary the mother of God writing her a note:
“Heavenly Mother, you know how much I desire to be healed but if it’s not God’s will I ask you for the strength never to give up. Humbly yours, Chiara.”
By this point, as she had already often declared, she was only interested in “obeying God’s will out of love: playing His game!” She had complete trust in him and encouraged her mum to do the same, telling her “When I’m not here anymore, just trust in God and go on!”
Before she died, she asked her parents to have her buried in a wedding dress as she was going to be meeting her beloved Jesus.
During her final hours, Chiara made her final confession and received the Eucharist. She had her family and friends pray with her. She died on 7 October 1990 with her parents at her bedside. Her final words were, “Bye, mum. Be happy, because I am.”
Two thousand people attended her funeral. The mayor of Sassello shut down the town so people would be able to attend.
On 19 December 2009, with the consent of the Pope Benedict XVI, the Congregation of the Causes of Saints proclaimed the decree concerning the miracle attributed to the intercession of Chiara Luce Badano. The miracle concerned the sudden healing of a child from Trieste, who was suffering from a severe form of meningitis. The doctors had given him 48 hours to live.
Chiara was beatified on 25 September 2010. Thousands of people, young and old from all around the world, came to the ceremony.
Why Chiara is important
A reflection from someone in our young Catholic community
Chiara was just an average teenage girl who lived from 1971-1990. The exceptional thing about her was her deep love for God and how massively it transformed her. She is a wonderful example of how even though faith and relationship with God doesn’t stop suffering, it does bring joy into all aspects of life, even those which we hope never to have to experience.
O Father, fount of every good, we give You thanks for the wonderful testimony of Blessed Chiara Badano. Filled with the Holy Spirit, and guided by the radiant light of Jesus, she believed firmly in Your infinite love and wished to return it with all her strength, surrendering herself in complete trust to Your paternal will. We humbly beseech You that You may also grant us the gift to live with You and for You, and ask You, if it be Your will, for the grace… through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.