Places me in Paradise (Part 5- Program during the Beatification of Chiara Luce Badano)

GIOVANNI: Chiara Badano (3 months before her passing, at 18 years of age) wrote a letter to Chiara Lubich telling her about her health status.

SARA – Chiara Luce: “I suspended the chemotherapy cycle which I was submitted to, because it was useless to continue: there were no positive results, no improvement! Medicine has laid down its arms! Only God can do something.
By interrupting the treatment the pains on my back, due to the two operations and my immobility in bed, have
increased and I’m no longer able to turn on my side.
SARA: Will I also manage to be faithful to Jesus forsaken and to live for that encounter with him?
I feel so small and the road ahead is so arduous, I often feel overwhelmed by suffering. But it’s my Spouse who comes to visit me, right?
IDE: By quick return of post, Chiara Lubich answers her:
VALE – Chiara Lubich: Chiara, do not be afraid to say your ‘yes’ to him moment by moment. He will give you strength, be sure of it! I too am praying for this and I am always with you.
God loves you immensely and he wants to penetrate the most intimate part of your soul and give you a little taste of heaven.
IDE: At the end of the letter Chiara Lubich gave her a new name:
VALE – Chiara Lubich: The name I have chosen for you is “Chiara Luce”: do you like it? It signifies the light of the Ideal that conquers the world.

Manolo: We have Bishop Livio Maritano here with us, who is known as “Chiara Luce’s bishop.” Bishop Maritano, you opened the diocesan process for the Cause of Beatification in 1999. We know that you knew Chiara Luce personally. What impression did she leave you?
Bishop Maritano: The long conversations I had with her in her little bedroom persuaded me that this girl really showed a superior maturity for her age, superior by far. It was a maturity that grasped the essentiality of
Christianity, directing everything to the certitude of God’s love, with whom she exchanged her “yes always,” as she had said.
Eleonora: Thank you Bishop Maritano for your loving and competent commitment and for the untiring work which, together with the members of the postulation, preceded today’s event.

30 – SONG: “Torn with a Smile”
Moments of love,
Spelled out her life,
Her icons of faith,
Simply grew with time.
Her open smile,
Her pure heart,
This luminous masterpiece,
Of love.
Rit: And all she did was give it all up
in the darkness of the night,
And all He did was turn her world of pain
and bring in light,
She looked up high,
A light shone in her eye,
As priceless as a dime,
She was torn with a smile.
A trail of light,
She left behind,
A living miracle,
A life,
Her calm ways,
And all of her days,
Serene and free,
Shone a brilliant ray.
Her pain never showed,
Her face always seemed to glow,
A life lived to the full,
Taken only by heaven’s pull.
She stayed strong, holding on,
With her closest friends,
United always and forever,
Till the very end,
Her spotless soul,
Never lost control
Till the end of time,
She was torn with a smile

VALE: Chiara Luce’s last period: a time of suffering and an evident grace which enveloped the whole house
and whoever visited her. They were also days in which intense dialogues took place and will remain forever.


• Chiara Luce – Mom, is it true that I will never walk again?
• Mother – If Jesus took your legs away, Chiara, it means that he will give you wings.
• Chiara Luce – Mom, is it just to die at the age of 17?
• Mother – I don’t know. I only know that it is important to do the will of God.
• Chiara Luce – Mother! Mother!!! Have you arrived?!! I thought I would never see you again.
• Mother – Yes, I am here. What happened?
• Chiara Luce – All sorts of things, mom, everything. I had never gone through a night like this before… But
you know what? I didn’t ruin anything, nothing, not even with so much pain as this! I offered everything to
Jesus. Physically I suffered a lot, but my soul was singing!
• Chiara Luce – The haemorrhage … do you think it’s a false alarm or am I going to die?
• Mother – We need God’s time in order to die. Be calm: you have your suitcase ready, full of acts of love;
when the moment comes Jesus will arrive and he’ll say: “Come, Chiara, let’s go!”
• Chiara Luce – Mom… pass me that envelope!
• Mother – Which one?
• Chiara Luce – The envelope with my birthday money in it. I want to give it to Gian who is going to Africa.
• Mother – All of it?!
• Chiara Luce – Yes, because I have everything and where I am going I won’t need anything!
• Chiara Luce – Mom, I don’t want to take morphine anymore.
• Mother – Why?
• Chiara Luce – Because it takes away my lucidity and I have only suffering to offer to Jesus. You know, I
don’t have anything any longer, but I still have my heart and with that I can always love!
• Chiara Luce – Mom, don’t let my hand go!
• Mother – Don’t worry Chiara, I’ll only let it go when I know that Mary has taken it.
• Chiara Luce – When I reach heaven who will come to meet me? Granny?
• Mother – Yes, but before her there will be Mary who will welcome you with open arms.
• Chiara Luce – Don’t tell me more, otherwise it won’t be a surprise.

32 – SONG: “Places me in Paradise”
Only a beautiful rainbow above me
And the sound of a light wind
A gentle touch of God’s love
How simple can it be?
Each look, each smile,
Places me in Paradise
Touch it! Feel it! Believe it!
‘Cause God is Love (x 2)
I walk through a straight path wondering
when the sea touches the sky
and the flowers blossom in the spring
It’s Gods Love? There’s God’s Love!
Each look, each smile,
Places me in Paradise
Touch it! Feel it! Believe it!
‘Cause God is Love (x 2)
‘Cause everything is made for love
made for love, made for love.
Just live around you listen to the voice there
serves it all, serves it all
The gentle heart in a simple life with eternal love,
eternal light
Each look, each smile,
Places me in Paradise
Touch it! Feel it! Believe it!
‘Cause God is Love (x 3)
‘Cause God is Love, ‘cause God is Love.
Manolo: Welcome Chicca. We already saw you in the opening video. You were very close to Chiara Luce. You particularly shared her last moments with her. What do you remember?

Chicca: I remember her last summer. I went to visit her nearly every day; time seemed to stop and it got dark
quickly. I went back home in my FIAT 500 (very small car) with an immense joy in my heart. I felt I was living moments of paradise and on the way home I thanked God and asked him to continue staying close to her, to Teresa and Ruggero.
One day Chiara, with her usual naturalness and simplicity, asked me to help her write out a small list of Mass
songs which she liked most. We sang some and we decided to record them on a tape recorder. We also laughed after every song, while listening to what we had recorded. We didn’t remember all the words of some songs, so Chiara wrote the words down so that she could sing them better.

She wanted to choose the songs for “HER” Mass, to prepare everything for her funeral because she wanted it to be a celebration! It was quite a special moment, quite solemn. That evening, in a deep conversation with her, we made a pact: that the first to leave for heaven would give a hand to the one who remained, while the one who remained would try to fill the great “emptiness” which had been left behind. Then Chiara gave me her bracelet with her name engraved on it. I wanted to die before her, but I feel that God’s plans are different.

Manolo: In that moment she asked you something very particular…

Chicca: She wished to be buried in a white dress, like a bride who goes to Jesus. She asked me to try it on for her.  Teresa helped me to put it on: it was long and I stood up on a stool; Chiara liked its simple style very much. It was an intense moment: I looked at Chiaretta, so beautiful, with her very, very short hair, even more luminous than she usually was, and in that gaze there was everything. She was in another reality … very present but already in God!

Eleonora: Now we come to a really special moment. Leafing through the pages of Chiara Luce’s story, as we have done this evening, what is emphasized is that hers was – we could say – a “collective” journey. There were teenagers and young people who were near her and accompanied her in her various stages, but especially there were her parents who we now have the joy to have here with us.
Ruggero: (He says that they were years blessed by God)

Eleonora: We know that up until the end Chiara Luce had a great love for everyone, but she had a special liking for the young people like herself …

Maria Teresa: Yes, one afternoon she asked me: “Mom, are there many people in the house?” and I said: “Yes, Chiara, a lot of people. Why?” she said: “Because I want to greet them.” And I told her: “You can’t, Chiara, you can’t.” I wanted to spare her pain: with that oxygen mask, she wasn’t able to… 
So she said: “Don’t worry, mom, I’ll take the oxygen mask off, otherwise they’ll be shocked when you open the door.” She was really determined and so I did what she said. I let go of her legs and I went to stand at the foot of the bed and watched her. I thought to myself: “Certainly, I shouldn’t be surprised at anything, but she always continues to surprise me.” 
The people in the house came to greet her. When the adults finished, she said: “Mom, but are there no young people out there?” “Yes, there are.” “Then let them in.” “You can’t.” “Let them in.” They came in and when they left, I said to her from the foot of the bed: “Chiara you certainly love up to the last minute, up to the last minute.” 
And she answered: “Mom, I no longer have anything, don’t you see? I no longer have anything, but I still have my heart and with that I can love.” Then I said: “Chiara, it seemed to me that you greeted everyone in a great way, but the young people, you greeted them in a different way.” She answered: “Young people, mom, young people are the future. You see, I can no longer run, but I want to pass the torch on to them. You know mom, like in the Olympics, when one runs and then stops at a certain point to hand over the torch to the other? … Because they have only one life and its worthwhile to spend it well.”

Manolo: A fundamental point in Chiara Badano’s life and in her journey towards holiness was the encounter with the spirituality of the Focolare Movement and her personal relationship with Chiara Lubich, who led this Movement for over 60 years. After Chiara Lubich’s death, on March 14, 2008, the current president Maria Emmaus Voce was elected and she is with us now. Welcome!

Thousands of young people are here today to live this special day together. What would you like to say to all of them?
Emmaus: (prepared text) Anyone who asked Chiara Lubich where Chiara Luce’s secret lay, she would tell them:
“In having given her life for a great ideal, the biggest one: GOD! In having believed in his love.”
With this faith, Chiara Luce launched herself in a divine adventure, totally abandoned, moment by moment,
to the will of God; and this is something that we too can live.
God also has a plan for each of us, his plan, which is fulfilled like a wonderful journey that begins from
eternity, from the design that God has on each of us, and is realized by going through mysteries of life and death, suffering and joy, to then conclude in eternity, in God who we finally reach forever.
On this journey, one day Chiara Luce met up with Chiara Lubich and this encounter changed her whole life.
Chiara Lubich, in giving her the charism and proposing that she live it fully, without shortcuts, up to the
total choice of Jesus forsaken, allowed God to make of her that wonderful masterpiece that the Church is giving back to us today as a model, as a travelling companion, a witness and guarantee that it is possible to reach the threshold of holiness, as she did. This is also – as the Pope reminded the young people in Great Britain – the threshold to the greatest happiness.
Today we too, perhaps for the first time, have met up with this great ideal and we have been fascinated by
it.  We have lived strong moments, very strong ones, and we have lived them together.  Now we are leaving enriched and desirous of great things for our life.
We have seen that everything can change: our relationships, our way of living joy and suffering, even when
it comes unexpectedly and tragically. We know that we can no longer be satisfied with little, that we cannot give in to the world, that a revolution is possible, a revolution that can be expressed in one word: love, because God is Love and wants to see a world invaded by love. We know that we can bring this about. We know it because we have seen it.
Let’s take off on this fascinating journey, to continue to run, each one there where God wants us, but
together, all connected, being support and strength for each other, as Chiara Luce was and will always continue to be for everyone.
Manolo: Thank you Emmaus! We have taken your words to heart.

36 – CANZONE: “Tutta per te”

Ti ho saputo perdere
ho saputo vincere
Ora questo inverno più paura non mi fa
Dopo quei momenti bui
Dopo il cielo grigio che
Sembra entrare nella stanza quando non sei qui
Lascio che la porta del
Cuore mio si apra a Te
Lascio il sole forte che spalanca la mia idea
Oltre quell’immagine
Oltre la mia logica
Dentro questa storia la mia forza sarai Tu
Rit: Certo che questa vita sarà dono mio per Te
Certo quello che vuoi lo sento dentro forte in me
Tutta per Te
Forte di quel vivere
con la tua presenza qui
sei Tu che lavori attraverso noi e me
sembran strani i canti che
assurdi si sprigionano
sembra strano quel sorriso dentro gli occhi miei
Rit: Certo che questa vita sarà dono mio per Te… (2 v.)
Tutta per Te
Le Tue mani che si aprono all’incontro mio con Te
Questa vita che non resta solo
dono mio per Te
Può sembrare anche solo la più autentica follia
Questa storia ora non è più
non è più la mia
Rit: Certo che questa vita sarà dono mio per Te…
Per Te…

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