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Catholic World News

Focolare seeks cause for beatification of founder, Chiara Lubich

December 10, 2013

Maria Voce, the head of the Focolare movement, has formally petitioned Bishop Raffaello Martinelli of Frascati, Italy, to open a cause for the beatification of the movement’s founder, Chiara Lubich.

Born in Trent, Italy in 1946, Silvia Lubich changed her name to Chiara, honoring St. Clare of Assisi, after she had an extraordinary religious experience during the bombing of Trent in World War II. Dedicating herself to the cause of peace and unity in the world, she founded the Focolare movement—which now boasts over 2 million members worldwide. When the movement celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2003, Pope John Paul II praised the group, describing its members as “apostles of dialogue, a privileged means of promoting unity.”

Chiara Lubich died in March 2008. Upon learning of her death, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of her "tireless love for the abandoned Jesus" and her energetic work for "communion in the Church, for ecumenical dialogue and for fraternity among all peoples."

With the 5-year waiting period having lapsed since her death, a cause for beatification could now be opened.


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