This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Friday, October 7, 2011

October 7 -- Feast of Blessed Chiara Badano

Chiara, like Alberto Marvelli two days ago, was an Italian lay person who felt a calling to serve God by serving other people.  For Chiara, an Italian girl born in 1971, the organization through which she worked was Focolare, a Catholic service group that began in Italy in 1943 and has spread to more than 100 nations worldwide.  Chiara first joined Focolare, which means household hearth, at age nine. 

She had a normal childhood, once expressing an aspiration to become a flight attendant.  She enjoyed swimming, hiking, singing, dancing, and tennis.  But around age sixteen, she felt drawn toward a religious life.  Not long after that, she was diagnosed with cancer in her shoulder.  She sought treatment, certain that she could recover and become a missionary.  Instead, the cancer spread to her spine.  When her legs became paralyzed, she was forced to recognize that she would not become a missionary, so she spent the remainder of her brief life in prayer and devotion. 

Pope Benedict XVI beatified her in 2010, noting that she maintained her senses of  piety and service without losing youth, sport, and fun. 

I had another one of those conversations recently in which one questions how God can let good people suffer miserable diseases.  I used to think that "God's mysterious ways" was a cop-out.  I no longer see it that way, but I don't know a better way to explain it.  I just hope that folks will remain open to the possibility of faith, to divine revelation, to a greater power than that which we can readily observe.  I want us to be open to whatever Chiara saw / felt / knew that gave her aspirations and then comfort. 

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