Catholic World News

Beatification cause opened for Focolare founder Chiara Lubich

January 23, 2015

Bishop Raffaello Martinelli of Frascati, Italy, has formally opened a cause for the beatification of Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolare movement.

Born in 1920 in Trent, Sylvia Lubich (as she was originally known) changed her name to Chiara, in honor of St. Claire of Assisi, after experiencing a profound conversion during the bombing of Trent in World War II. She gathered friends into small groups to help those in need, and thus began Focolare, a lay movement dedicated to peaceful coexistence. The movement grew quickly, spread across the world, and now numbers over 100,000 members.

Chiara Lubich became a close adviser to St. John Paul II, who appointed her to participate as an observer at several meetings of the Synod of Bishop. Upon her death in 2008, Pope Benedict XVI saluted her as the “founder of a large spiritual family that embraces multiple domains of evangelization.”

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