Benedict XVI: the light of Chiara Badano

 
A surprise that as already spread like lightning via social networks across the globe: Pope Benedict XVI has again spoken about Chiara Luce Badano pointing to her as an example, a witness of light for many.

It was on Sunday 5 February at the Angelus. Before beginning to pray, the Pope reflected upon that Sunday’s Gospel, which spoke about the Jesus healing the sick. He said, ‘Even in the face of death, faith can make possible what is humanly impossible. But faith in what? In the love of God. Here is the true response, the thing that radically overcomes evil.’ And he also said, ‘As Jesus faced evil with the power of love that comes from the Father, so we too can face and overcome the trial of sickness by keeping our hearts immersed in the love of God.’

It was at this point that the Pope recalled the example of Chiara Luce Badano, the young girl from Sassello (Italy), a member of the Focolare Movement beatified on 25 September 2010. The Pope spoke of Chiara Luce among those ‘people who have borne up under terrible suffering because God gave them a deep serenity.’ The Pope has a real affection for Blessed Chiara Badano who was ‘struck down in the flower of her youth by an incurable illness. How many people went to see her and  received light and encouragement! All the same, in sickness, we all need human warmth. To comfort someone who is sick, what counts more than words is having someone near who is serene and sincere.

This is not the first time that Benedict XVI has offered the example of Chiara Luce as an example to the Christian community of trust in the love of God. He did it in Palermo where he urged young people to find out more about her. ‘Hers was a short life,’ he said, in which she managed to give ‘an amazing message…. She lived 19 years full of life and faith. Two years of these, the last two, were full of pain lived in faith and the joy that was born from a heart full of God.’

This was the light in the heart of Benedict XVI at the Angelus on 5 February when he recalled that next Saturday 11 February, the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Church will celebrate the World Day of the Sick

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