Silvia, the baptismal name given to Chiara, was born in Trent on 22 January 1920. She was the second of four children, Gino, Liliana and Carla. Her father, Luigi Lubich, a wine-seller, ex-typesetter, anti-fascist and socialist, had once been a close colleague of the once socialist Benito, and later the unyielding political opponent of the fascist Mussolini. Her mother, Luigia, was animated by a strong traditional faith. Following his medical studies, her older brother, Gino, joined the Resistance in the famous Garibaldi Brigade. Then he dedicated himself to journalism, working for the Communist newspaper, L’Unita.
When she was 18, Silvia received her teaching certificate with full marks. She would have liked to continue her studies, and she tried to be admitted to the Catholic University. It didn’t turn out: she came in last out of the twenty-three free admissions that were available. Since there was not enough money in the Lubich home to pay for her studies in another city, Silvia was forced to find work. During the 1940-41 academic year she taught elementary school at the Opera Serafica in Trent.