Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy
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Already a best-seller in Italy, here is the English translation of Chiara Petrillo's heart-breaking story. At 28 years old, Chiara passed away, her body ravaged by cancer, leaving behind a grieving husband and a baby boy. While pregnant with her son, Chiara developed a malignant tumor, but refused the treatment that would save her - treatment that would have risked the life of her unborn baby. Immediately after she gave birth to her son, Chiara's tumor became terminal, causing her to lose the use of her right eye, and eventually her life to the cancer.
This saint-in-the-making was a witness to joy in the face of great adversity, the kind which makes love overflow despite the sorrow from loss and death.
In the face of nearly universal pressure, Chiara refused to abort her first two babies despite knowing they would not live even a day outside the womb. When pregnant a third time, she was diagnosed with cancer. Chiara refused treatment in order to protect her unborn son. Her little Francesco survived, but shortly after his birth her cancer became terminal. Chiara died in 2012.
Like St. Gianna Molla, Chiara offers a human face to the pro-life movement. Her story speaks directly to the heart, and in the words of her husband, "gives witness to the one who wishes to open his heart to the reality that God is good," and that life is a gift.
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