Chiara Luce Badano
Feast Day: October 29
Beatified: September 25, 2010
Venerated: July 3, 2008
In 1971, after praying and hoping for a baby for more than 10 years, Ruggero and Teresa Badano of Sassello, Italy, welcomed a little girl whom they named Chiara.
Even at the age of four, Chiara seemed aware of the needs of others. She would sort through her toys to give some to poor children, and would never give away just the old or broken ones, because that would be horrible for children who had no toys! She invited less fortunate people into the family’s home for holidays and visited the elderly at a retirement center. When other children were sick and confined to bed, Chiara visited them. She loved the stories of the Gospel and loved to attend Mass.
When she was 9, Chiara became involved with the Focolare movement and its branch for young people. Focolare emphasizes brotherhood and unity among all people.
Chiara was very popular. She had a lot of friends, she played sports, and she loved to sing and dance. But when asked, she said she did not try to bring Jesus to her friends with words. She tried to bring Jesus to them with her example and how she lived her life.
When she was 17, Chiara learned she had a very serious form of bone cancer. Treatments were painful and unsuccessful. She became paralyzed. One day someone asked her if she hoped to walk again, and her answer was no. When she suffered, she felt closer to Jesus. She even refused to take pain medication that would make her too sleepy to continue to live her life.
Despite her illness and being confined to bed, Chiara wrote letters and sent messages to other. She attended Focolare youth meetings. She inspired everyone who she encountered with her faith and love for others. She gave all her savings to a friend who was becoming a missionary in Africa. When her life was nearly at an end, she said, “I have nothing left, but I still have my heart, and with that I can always love.”
Chiara died in 1990. Within nine years, the bishop of her diocese began the work on her cause for canonization. Pope Benedict XVI declared her “Blessed” in 2010. “Only Love with a capital L gives true happiness,” and that’s what Chiara showed her family, her friends and her fellow members of the Focolare movement, the pope said.
She was a normal, everyday girl, and possibly a normal, everyday saint. Chiara’s brief life showed us how much one person can accomplish in God’s name.
Connecting to Be My Disciples®
Grade 6, chapter 20