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Chiara Corbella Petrillo - What A Life! Ten years ago, in June 2012, Chiara Corbella Petrillo died from a tumour. She was 28 years old. Born in Rome in 1984 into a Catholic family, she participated …More
Chiara Corbella Petrillo - What A Life!

Ten years ago,
in June 2012, Chiara Corbella Petrillo died from a tumour. She was 28 years old. Born in Rome in 1984 into a Catholic family, she participated in a prayer group. In summer 2002 - at the age of 18 - she was at the seaside in Croatia and then went to Medjugorie where she met the 23-year-old Enrico Petrillo, also from Rome, who was on pilgrimage with the Charismatic Renewal. It was love at first sight.

They got engaged and married in 2008 in Assisi. Chiara immediately became pregnant, but her baby girl had serious malformations that would not allow her to survive. The parents still wanted to give birth to her. They welcomed Maria Grazia Letizia on 10 June 2009. She was baptised and died after half an hour. "I thought of Our Lady," Chiara wrote, "also to her the Lord gave a Son who was not for her, and she had to see him die under the cross".

Soon a second pregnancy arrived, a boy. He too, was diagnosed with serious malformations, unrelated to the previous case. Chiara and Enrico welcomed Davide Giovanni with great love, but he died on 24 June 2010. Chiara wrote, “The Lord wanted to give us special children: Maria Grazia Letizia and Davide Giovanni, but He only asked us to accompany them until their birth, allowing us to embrace them, baptise them and deliver them into the hands of the Father in an overwhelming serenity and joy.”

Then, the third pregnancy arrived. This time, the baby boy was healthy. The happy parents decided to call him Francesco. Everything seemed to be going well, when suddenly, the pregnant Chiara was diagnosed with a tumour on her tongue. She needed surgery but agreed only to local anaesthesia to protect her baby. She received no morphine, suffered from excruciating pain, and refused chemotherapy.

Francesco was born in May 2011. Chiara immediately underwent a second operation, then chemotherapy and radiotherapy. But it was too late. There is a photo of Chiara that is also on the cover of a book about her: she has a sunny smile and an eye patch, because the cancer had arrived there. It was taken in April 2012. Chiara had only known a few days before that she was terminally ill. She died two months later. To think that this is the face of a young mother who knows her days are numbered on this earth is heart-breaking.

Chiara was proclaimed a Servant of God and a process of beatification was opened for her.
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