Last Updated: Thursday - 09/30/2010
October 4, 2010
Beatified teen a witness to God's love says Benedict
BY CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy - Blessed Chiara Badano, an Italian who died of bone cancer just before her 19th birthday, witnessed to the world the fact that God's love is stronger than suffering and death, Pope Benedict said.
"Only Love with a capital L gives true happiness," and that's what Blessed Badano showed her family, her friends and her fellow members of the Focolare Movement, the pope said Sept. 26 during his midday Angelus address.
At Rome's Shrine of Divine Love Sept. 25, Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, presided over the beatification of the young Italian who died in 1990.
Blessed Badano was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone malignancy, when she was 17. When she was given the news, she vowed to accept it as God's will.
"If you want it, Jesus, so do I," she was reported to have said during a painful therapy session, adding that "embraced pain makes one free."
She also declined to take the morphine doctors offered because, she said, "I want to share as much as possible the pain of Jesus on the cross."
"I feel that God is asking me for something more, something greater," she said, according to her official biography. "I could be confined to this bed for years, I don't know. I'm only interested in God's will, doing that well in the present moment: playing God's game."
Pope Benedict said young people can find in Blessed Badano "an example of Christian consistency," because she was certain of God's love and trusted in that love even as she was dying.
At the beatification Mass, Amato called Blessed Badano a missionary of Jesus, "who invites us to rediscover the freshness and enthusiasm of the faith."
Even as she lost the use of her legs and was dying, she shared her faith and God's love with the dozens of people who would visit her each day, he said.
"Her last gift was her corneas, the only organs that were still transplantable" because they were not damaged by the cancer that had spread throughout her body, he said. "They were given to two young people who can see today thanks to her."
Blessed Badano's parents, Teresa and Ruggero, attended the beatification Mass.
Blessed Badano, who was nicknamed "Luce" or "Light," was born Oct. 29, 1971, in northern Italy and died Oct. 7, 1990. Her funeral was attended by hundreds of young members of the Focolare Movement from throughout northern Italy.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.