Woman Who Died For Her Child: The Story of Chiara Corbella

30 10 2015
“You must abort this baby,”
Chiara’s doctor insisted.

“The baby has no skull.
She can’t survive
outside your womb.”

“She is alive. She is there,”
Chiara replied.

Chiara refused to abort her child.

Baby Maria lived but
40 minutes after her birth.
In that brief time, Chiara
had her baptized, holding
her closely until she
breathed her last.

Then . . .
a second pregnancy!

And the same demand:
“You must abort this baby.

He has no legs, and his lungs and
kidneys will not develop.
He cannot live outside the womb.”

Chiara refused to abort her son.

Baby Davide was born and his mother
received him and embraced him tenderly.
“My son, my love,” she whispered to him.

He was baptized,
and died 38 minutes after his birth.
Chiara would say he had, “an
appointment in paradise.”

A third pregnancy!

This time good news:
you’re going to have
a healthy baby!

And then bad news,
almost immediately, while
Francesco was still in the womb:

“Chiara, you have cancer.”

Once again, the doctors proposed treatment
that would risk the life of Chiara’s unborn child.

“I have no intention of putting
the life of Francesco at risk,” Chiara responded
despite knowing it might cost her her life.

It did.
Although baby Francesco was born healthy, his mother, Chiara Corbella Petrillo, just 28 years old, soon died from her cancer.

Smiling in the face of death’s horror that had stalked her and
her three babies since the very first days of her marriage, happy she had chosen her young son’s life over her own, and joyful she would soon be with her beloved Jesus.

What strength!

What courage!

What faith!

Now Chiara’s biography – just published by Sophia Institute Press – shares with you the sources of Chiara’s strength, so that when life’s troubles and sorrows threaten to overwhelm you, you will be able to stand firm like Chiara – and joyful – even in the face of death.

You see, like you, Chiara was not born a saint, nor was she particularly holy as a young adult. Her stormy engagement with Enrico was punctuated with frequent quarrels, breakups, and reconciliations.

She had to learn – and her example can teach you – many essential things about living a good life in our turbulent modern world, including:

  • How abandonment of self leads to recovery of the person you are actually called to be
  • How to defeat the anger and despair that suffering too often breeds, and use it as a means to bring you closer to those you love
  • How to treasure – even more than you do already – life in the womb as well as the gift of those persons God has chosen to bring into your life
  • Why you need never lose faith in God’s goodness, even in the face of horrors as great as those faced by Enrico and Chiara
  • How to be joyful – profoundly so – even when death approaches
Chiara Corbella Petrillo died in June 2012.

Our biography of Chiara, written by two friends who walked with her every step of her way of the Cross, even unto death, shows how we can transform our own crosses, no matter how painful they may be, into occasions of holiness and even joy.

That’s a skill no Christian can afford to live – or die – without.

Learn it today from Chiara Corbella Petrillo, a saint for our times, a saint for you.



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