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Chiara Lubich
A Biography

Armando Torno; Bill Hartnett (Translator) (about)

The life of Chiara Lubich and growth of the Focolare

Paperback; 152 pages; 2012

ISBN: 978-1-56548-453-5

About this Book

The New York Times called Chiara Lubich “one of the most influential women in the Catholic Church.” This biography transports readers inside the story of a young woman, born to a poor family in Trent, who felt called to dedicate her life to God. Against the backdrop of WWII’s devastation, Lubich shared her passion first with a group of young women her age. Torno presents a forthright account of Chiara Lubich and her friends’ collective mystical experience and their resulting life, both profoundly spiritual and deeply human, which always aimed at fulfilling Jesus’ prayer “that all may be one.” By the 1960’s, her inspiration had reached every corner of Italy and spread throughout Europe, behind the Iron Curtain, and around the world. Wherever she went – from the jungles of the Cameroon, to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, to the skyscrapers of New York, to the Buddhist monasteries of Chiang Mai, Thailand – she shared her choice of God and the lifestyle it generated.

This biography brings to life those people Chiara met along the way – from everyday folk to political leaders to popes – and describes how her charism affected each one. He reveals the challenges that arose as a vast movement grew up around Lubich as well as her joy at seeing authentic gospel life spread around the world. Together, they achieved what Chiara defined as “…the great attraction of modern times: to penetrate to the highest contemplation while mingling with everyone.”

Chiara Lubich and Her Union with God

Fabio Ciardi, O.M.I. interviews Giulia Eli Folonari

Talking to Giulia Eli Folonari is a special experience in its own right. Naturally, the topic is Chiara Lubich with whom she has spent fifty years as her personal secretary. Throughout all these years, Eli was part of the same focolare and was her confidante and friend. I asked her about Chiara’s prayer life and her union with God. The Foundress of the Focolare Movement wrote a lot about the subject. Of special importance are the three extraordinary talks she gave under the title ‘Union with God’. Eli refers to these talks and adds some personal memories. Eli is in no way a passive and detached witness. Chiara involved her intimately in her own experience and, together with many other members of the Focolare, they traveled together along the ‘Holy Journey’.

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Opening ceremony the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Chiara Lubich

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Chiara Lubich

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Some Related Comments:

Chiara Lubich was an extraordinary woman, but she was more than that; she inspired and led an extraordinary religious movement, but she was more than that as well. Chiara Lubich was the embodiment of the values of Love and Unity that she espoused; which live on after her not only in the remarkable Focolare movement itself, but in the hearts and souls of people of faiths and cultures worldwide, touched by her spirit.

Rabbi David Rosen, CBE, KSG
International Director of Interreligious Affairs, AJC

Despite periods of great personal anguish, Chiara Lubich gave birth to world-wide movement, born of the Catholic Church, which came to embrace Protestants, members of the Orthodox Church, those who followed other world religions, and secular thinkers. Torno’s biography, without lapsing into hagiography, offers a portrait of an extraordinary and holy woman whose deepest desire was to fulfill Jesus’ prayer: “That they all may be one.”

James L. Heft, S.M.
Alton Brooks Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California President of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies

Author Info

Armando Torno has edited the cultural pages of Italy’s Il Sole 24 Ore and Corriere della Sera. In addition to his many years of journalistic work, he has authored fifteen books.

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