04 June 2012

'Don't come home before midnight!' - a dying girl's gift to her parents

Blessed Chiara Luce Badano (1971-1990)

The patron of the Congress Youth Space  at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Dublin from 10 to 17 June is Blessed Chiara Luce Badano (1971-1990). In the September-October 2010 issue of Misyon we published an article about her, TheSaint Who Failed Math 

Ruggero and Maria Teresa Badano with their infant daughter

In the June 2012 issue of Intercom, the monthly published by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Fr Patrick Leahy tells a lovely story about this only child who was born to her parents Ruggero and Maria Teresa on 29 October 1971, eleven years after they married and who died 22 days short of her 19th birthday. On St Valentine’s Day 1990, when she was already very sick, Blessed Chiara Luce booked a meal for her parents at a local restaurant. Before they went there she said to them, ‘This evening look at one another in the eyes, and don’t come home before midnight!’ She then turned to her mother and said, ‘And remember, Mum, before me, there was Dad’.

I wish that every married couple had the clarity that this young person had, that the foundational relationship in the family is that between husband and wife, not between parent and child. The latter is a consequence of the first.

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