ROME – In a Sept. 9 statement, the diocese of Rome announced the start of the beatification and canonization process for an Italian woman who refused cancer treatment so as not to jeopardize her pregnancy.

“On June 13, 2012, the Servant of God Chiara Corbella died at Pian della Carlotta (Manziana),” said a statement signed July 2 by the Vicar of Rome, Cardinal Angelo Di Donatis. A lay woman and mother, wife and mother of great faith in God, who always confided in the Lord’s Providence even when pain entered her life.”

The official opening of the cause will take place Sep. 21 in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, which is big enough to welcome the large number of people expected to attend the Mass. The day would have also marked her tenth wedding anniversary with her husband Enrico Petrillo.

Over one thousand people went to her funeral Mass at the parish of Santa Francesca Romana, to celebrate and remember the mother who gave her life for her child with a constant smile on her lips. To this day, faithful make a pilgrimage to her tomb at the Verano Cemetery in Rome to bring flowers and prayers.

Corbella’s life presented no small number of challenges. She met her future husband at the Marian site of Medjugorje and they had a normal on and off relationship until their wedding. Their first child, Maria Grazia Letizia, lived only 30 minutes after being born. The second, Davide Giovanni, also died soon after birth due to serious deformities.

“In our marriage, the Lord wished to gift us with special children,” Corbella wrote in her personal notes, “but he asked us to accompany them only until birth, he allowed us to embrace them, baptize them and hand them to the hands of the Father with an unsettling serenity and joy.”

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