Enrica Beltrame Quattrocchi, an Italian laywoman who died in 2012, is also on her way to sainthood, along with her parents, Bl. Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi, who were beatified together in October 2001.
Unlike her three older siblings who each followed vocations to religious life, Enrica lived out her Catholic faith as an unmarried lay Catholic who served as a high school teacher, a volunteer helping the poor, and a caretaker for her parents in their old age.
Through illness and economic difficulties, Enrica remained faithful to attending daily Mass and dedicated to serving others. She died at the age of 98 after seeing her parents beatified.
The decree also recognized Maria Cristina Cella Mocellin (1969-1995), a Catholic mother who chose not to undergo cancer chemotherapy while she was pregnant to save the life of her unborn third child.
“You are a gift to us … You are precious and when I look at you I think that there is no suffering in the world that is not worthwhile for a child,” Maria Cristina wrote in a letter to her child, which she gave to her husband.
The Italian mother began chemotherapy as soon as her son, Riccardo, was born in 1994, but the cancer spread to her lungs. She died on Oct. 22, 1995, at the age of 26, leaving behind three children.
“I believe that God would not allow pain if he did not want to obtain a secret and mysterious but real good. I believe that I could not accomplish anything greater than saying to the Lord: Thy will be done,” she wrote.
“I believe that one day I will understand the meaning of my suffering and I will thank God for it. I believe that without my pain endured with serenity and dignity, something would be missing in the harmony of the universe.”
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.