On July 2, 2018 the Diocese of Rome formally opened the cause for sainthood for Chiara Corbella Petrillo, a young mother who, after being diagnosed with cancer while pregnant, refused treatments that would endanger the life of her baby. She waited until the baby was born to undergo treatment. By the time the baby, named Francesco, was born, the cancer had spread and Chiara died a little over a year later.
Her and her husband Enrico’s faith and trust in the Lord began years earlier, though.
Chiara was born in Rome in 1984 and she was raised Catholic. She met Enrico on a pilgrimage and they became engaged soon after and they married in 2008.
Shortly after their marriage, Chiara and Enrico found out that their baby in utero had a serious malformation and were told that the child, if born, would not live long. They chose to carry the baby to term. Maria Grazia Letizia was born in 2009 and lived for an hour after birth.
They became pregnant once more and were again told their child had serious malformations and would not live long. Again, Chiara and Enrico decided to carry the child to term and welcomed Davide Giovanni in 2010 who then went to the Lord shortly after his birth. Enrico told Vatican News that these two babies helped he and Chiara experience the fullness of life, no matter how brief it is.
Chiara became pregnant a third time with a healthy child, but Chiara was diagnosed with tongue cancer. She had the tumor removed in March 2011, but other procedures would put the life of her unborn baby at risk, so she opted to wait for treatment until after his birth.
Chiara’s husband Enrico later remarked that Chiara was not particularly courageous but that her strength clearly came from somewhere else. This was her faith in the Lord and His plans; and Enrico displays that faith and trust, as well. For more information on Chiara’s life and faith, visit the official website or pick up a copy of Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy.
Servant of God Chiara Corbella Petrillo, pray for us!