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Normally Catholic churches are dedicated to saints, but a new church is Sironj town of Madhya Pradesh has been named after an Italian teenager whose life was cut short by cancer.
Chiara Badano, born in Sassello village in Italian province of Savona, was beatified in 2010, exactly two decades after her tragic death.
“This is the first instance in the world when a church has been named after a person who is not a saint yet,’’ Bishop Anthony Chirayath told The Indian Express.
The Bishop of Sagar diocese, who worked in the Vatican for more than 30 years, said he was moved by her biography and found her life so inspirational that he decided to build a church in her name.
According to him, young Chiara loved to dance, sing, smile and help others. While playing tennis, she suffered an excruciating pain and was later diagnosed with bone cancer. She died in 1990 at the age of 18. In her last two years, while battling cancer, she inspired others with her positivity.
The church was inaugurated by her parents, Maria Teresa and Ruggero Badano, on September 25. About 60 foreigners, friends and devotees from Europe and Asia and hundreds of local residents attended the inauguration held at Sironj, about 120 km from Bhopal.