Two days of celebrations planned for soon-to-be blessed teenager


Chiara "Luce" Badano, who showed great faith during her short life, will be beatified this weekend. Her parents and thousands of young people from Italy and across the globe are expected in Rome to celebrate her life and holiness.

Chiara was born in the town of Sassello, Italy in 1971. Brought up Catholic, she later became a member of the Focolare movement and, although stricken by bone cancer which paralyzed her legs and later took her life, lived the Gospel message, exuding a love for God and life throughout.

She is remembered for her repeated prayer amidst the trials: "If you will it, Jesus, so do I."

The beatification rite will be celebrated by Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, at Rome's Sanctuary of Divine Love. Thousands of pilgrims are expected to join in the celebration, many being members of the Focolare movement who are now arriving from as far away as Hong Kong.

The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Ennio Antonelli will concelebrate along with bishops from several countries and over 100 priests. Her parents and her bishop, who first provided the impetus for her cause for canonization, will also be present for the ceremony.

Later on that evening, a celebration will be held in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, where the Pope often hosts his Wednesday general audiences, during which three elements of Chiara's time on earth will be highlighted: Life, Love and Light.

EWTN will provide broadcasting from this location.

On the next morning, Sept. 26, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone will preside over Mass at St. Paul's Outside-the-walls in thanksgiving for the beatification. At the conclusion of the Mass, the participants will await a live telecast from Castel Gandolfo of the Angelus, during which they expect the Pope to recognize the newly declared blessed.

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