By Joeun Lee
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Chiara Badano, an Italian who died of bone cancer just before her 19th birthday, will be beatified Sept. 25 at a shrine outside of Rome, said the bishop of the diocese where she lived.
The beatification ceremony will be held at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love and will be presided over by Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, said Bishop Pier Giorgio Micchiardi of Acqui.
A member of the Focolare Movement, Badano corresponded for years with Chiara Lubich, founder of the movement.
Born Oct. 29, 1971, in northern Italy, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone malignancy, when she was 17. According to her biography, the diagnosis came after many painful examinations and operations. 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 reportedly 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,” she said.
Badano, who was nicknamed “Luce” or “Light,” died Oct. 7, 1990, and her funeral was attended by hundreds of young members of the Focolare Movement from throughout northern Italy. Devotion to her has spread, so the rather isolated Diocese of Acqui asked that her beatification ceremony be celebrated in Rome to make it easier for more young people to attend, said Mariagrazia Magrini, the vice-postulator of her cause.
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