There are many amazing saints, and many amazing blessed and venerables and servants of God, so many that lots often are overlooked. Here are my picks for a faithful departed you might start hearing more and more about sooner rather than later.
Blessed Chiara Luce Badano
October 29, 1971 – October 7, 1990, beatified September 25, 2010, feast day October 29
Why she’s cool: She died just before her 19th birthday after a two-year battle with one of the most painful bone cancers and offered it all for others. She even refused morphine to dull the pain because she wanted to remain lucid and united with Christ on the cross. She was a normal teenager who loved sports, hanging out with friends, and even had a crush on a boy. She proves that extraordinary grace is for everyone. Chiara asked to be buried in a wedding dress because she was going to meet her Love, Jesus. Learn more about her at http://www.chiaraluce.org/
Venerable Solanus Casey
November 25, 1870 – July 31, 1957, declared venerable in 1995
Why he’s cool: He was the first U.S. born man to be declared venerable! He wasn’t a very good student, so he served primarily as a porter aka receptionist and door keeper and was not granted the full priestly faculties of public preaching or hearing confessions. He was known as a great intercessor and for his healing ministry. He died in Detroit of a skin disease. You can learn more about him here- http://www.solanuscenter.org/portal.php
Chiara Corbella Petrillo
1984- June 13, 2012
Why she’s cool: An even more modern St. Gianna Molla, Chiara chose life for her first two children, who were both prenatally diagnosed with life-threatening complications, and both died shortly after being born. When pregnant a third time, she developed a malignant tumor and both refused to abort and to receive treatment until the baby was born. After Francesco was born, the tumor became terminal, causing her to lose sight in her right eye and confining her to a wheelchair. When children would ask about her eye patch, she was known to tell them that she was a pirate. Chiara was a witness to joy in the face of adversity, of love that overflows despite sorrow from loss. Read more about her at http://www.chiaracorbellapetrillo.it/en/
February 9, 1980- January 20, 2015
Why he’s cool: Paul died from an extremely aggressive testicular cancer less than a year ago, leaving behind his wife Annie, three kids, and one on the way- but his endurance to live and his readiness to die were not only how he lived his final month, but his entire life. He attended Franciscan University of Steubenville and legends of his deep faith and crazy antics far outlived his time there- everything he did (even road trips and jumping off of cliffs) was for love and in love of Christ. He and his wife Annie spent the first two years of their marriage driving a big rig to pay off college loans. Paul’s life exemplified the statement by St. Iranaeus that “The glory of God is man fully alive.” More about his intense life of love can be read at www.livelikepaul.com
Who other of the faithful departed do you think we should keep our eyes on?