Chiara “Luce” Badano, a member of the Focolare Movement who died of bone cancer in 1990 at the age of 18, will be beatified at the shrine of Divine Love in Rome at a ceremony presided over by Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes. Chiara's recognized miracle was the healing of a little boy dying of meningitis last year.
Thousands of Focolare members are expected to gather in Paul VI Hall to celebrate the first beatification of someone from the movement. You can join them and watch the beatification live at 10 a.m. ET by clicking HERE.
In an article by Father John Larson, MIC, on the Divine Mercy website, he writes of Chiara as a typical teenager -- enjoying tennis and dancing and arguing with her parents about curfew -- until a sharp pain in her shoulder turned out to be bone cancer.
From Father Larson's article:
"She spent some time alone in her room and essentially abandoned herself to divine providence. She wrote "The illness arrived just at the right moment because I was going in the wrong direction" and saw it as improving her relationship with God. As the painful treatments were applied, she offered all her pain up without hesitation. She would say, "It's for you, Jesus; if You want it, I want it too." This was said, no doubt, in the sense of being a victim soul and sharing in the sufferings of Christ. She focused on Jesus Forsaken — a way of looking at Christ that is promoted in the Focolare movement. She focused on consoling Jesus.
"Her doctor was an atheist who was very critical of the Church. However, he was impacted by her witness. He said that because of her he found consistency in the Christian message. "Everything about Christianity makes sense to me."
"Her illness lasted three years, but she remained cheerful through it all. She wrote the following to Chiara Lubich, foundress of the Focolare movement, in July of 1990: "Medicine has laid down its arms. Since we stopped the treatment, the pain in my back has increased. But it's my Spouse who is coming to see me. I repeat with you, 'If You want it, I want it too.'"
"As her suffering increased, she refused morphine saying "It reduces my lucidity, and there's only one thing I can do now: to offer my suffering to Jesus because I want to share as much as possible in His suffering on the cross."
"Her last words were, "Be happy, because I am."
Founded in 1943, the Focolare Movement is active in 182 countries and promotes the idea of unity and universal brotherhood, not only among Catholics but people of all faiths. Chiara Lubich, founder of the movement, died in 2008 at the age of 88. For more information, visit the Focolare Movement's website by clicking HERE.