Young Catholics say Badana teaches them how to face problems in life.
A northern India diocese has dedicated a church to a young Italian woman who liked to sing, dance and play tennis but who died of cancer, a gesture young local Catholics said teaches them how to face problems in life.
Sagar Diocese, which has about 7,000 Catholics from a population of 4.5 million people, dedicated a church on Sept. 25 to Blessed Chiara Badana in Sironj, a village in Madhya Pradesh state.
"Blessed Badana is a role model on how to face problems and challenges in life," Silviya Samuel, 28, told ucanews.com at the dedication function.
Bishop Anthony Chirayath of Sagar blessed the church saying "it is a matter of pride for the Church in India to have the first church dedicated to Blessed Badana."
Badana was ever smiling, cheerful, loved singing and dancing, was friendly and loving, kind and thoughtful of others, the bishop said. He hoped the church dedication would help "our children to imbibe these qualities."
Sunil Isaac, 27, told ucanews.com that Blessed Badana is "good example for youth [and that] her deep faith in God is something worth emulating. The saint through her life showed us all that suffering is something positive."
Badana was born Oct. 29, 1971. At age 17, while playing tennis she felt an acute pain, which was later diagnosed bodyas bone cancer. As the disease progressed, Chiara faced repeated hospitalizations and increasing pain and was paralyzed. At the age of 9, she joined the Catholic lay movement Focolare.
Despite being confined to bed, she wrote letters and inspired everyone she encountered with her faith and love for others. She often repeated, "For you, Jesus. If you wish it, so do I."
Pope Benedict XVI beatified her on Sept. 25, 2010, two decades after her death.