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Chiara Corbella Petrillo, the importance of letting oneself be loved

Finding Joy Amidst Sorrow: The Inspirational Life of Chiara Corbella Petrillo, A Testament to Faith and Happiness Beyond Earthly Challenges

We often let sadness take over because of what happens in our lives, missing the opportunity God gives us to be happy and foretaste a little piece of heaven already on this earth. Chiara Corbella Petrillo, servant of God, died happily at noon on June 13, 2012 in her parents’ country home, where she spent the last months of her life together with her loved ones, first and foremost her husband Enrico. Chiara did not die serene or resigned, but happy, because all the promises God had made to her had been fulfilled; in a totally original way, which she did not imagine, what her heart had always longed for had come true, as Father Vito D’Amato, her spiritual father, recounts.

Chiara met Enrico for the first time in Medjugorje in 2002 and felt in her heart that she was standing in front of her husband; back in Rome the two young people dated and got engaged, but after four years of engagement their relationship was put to the test by a crisis that would overwhelm them, leading to the breakup of their story. The crisis with Henry is, in fact, a symptom of a deeper restlessness that the young woman will experience; her faith in Jesus, in fact, is no longer as firm as it once was, when it took little to understand each other with the Friend of All Time. No longer understanding what God’s plan is for her, Clare will go through a period of rebellion toward the Lord, but she will not allow suffering to separate her from Christ. In fact, Chiara questions herself in order to return to her belief in Jesus again, so she attends a vocation course in Assisi, and, shedding her beliefs and expectations, confidently surrenders herself completely to God. Now Clare will be able to see in Henry a gift, which she welcomes into her life forever.

After her marriage, celebrated on September 21, 2008, Chiara immediately becomes pregnant with Maria Grazia Letizia, a special child with a serious malformation that will not allow her to live after her birth; nevertheless, Chiara welcomes her daughter as a gift from the Lord and together with Enrico they will accompany her for those few minutes that she will live, until she will ascend to heaven, transforming that dramatic moment into a time of peace and joy of heart. The same happens at the birth of their second son, David John, defined by doctors as incompatible with life, whom the young parents welcome with much love, embracing his frailty. Later, Chiara, again pregnant with a healthy baby, discovers during her pregnancy that she has carcinoma on her tongue, which she treats only partially to protect the life of baby Francis; after the birth of her third son, on May 30, 2011, she resumes treatment, but without defeating the tumor that has spread.

On the night before her death Clare, radiant despite her 40-pound weight, participates in her last Eucharistic celebration and is grateful to the Lord for the grace she is experiencing; her light emanates from Christ, light of the world, who shines from the candelabra of the cross. As she herself says, “the important thing in life is not to do something, but to be born and to let oneself be loved,” Clare, who recognizes herself as a child of God, let Him love her completely, so that she could fully enjoy the life given to her and leave to those she loved, the serenity of continuing to let them enjoy life as life presents itself and is fulfilled. Only the strength of a woman’s heart can accomplish this miracle of absolute self-giving for others.

Fernanda Carastro


  • Fernanda Carastro


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