• Book Review – Chiara Corbella Petrillo

    Book Review November 26, 2015

    The past to mercy, the present to grace, the future to Providence. Let us ask for grace… – Enrico Petrillo

    Today is the celebration of Thanksgiving in the United States. Today also marks the completion of four years of publication of Today’s Martyrs, and the beginning of the fifth year.

    We would like to note these anniversaries with a review of a book published two months ago. Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy is the story of the life and death of a young wife and mother in Rome, Italy. In just under five years of marriage Chiara and her husband Enrico lived through the birth of a daughter and then a son who both died of unrelated congenital illnesses. Their third child developed normally, but then Chiara was diagnosed with cancer during the pregnancy. She elected to preserve her son Francesco’s life by delaying more radical treatments until after his early delivery. She died in June 2012 at age 28 just after his first birthday.

    2015-09 Chiara Corbella PetrilloThe photograph on the book cover shows Chiara within months of her death, after the final prognosis was known. She is seen with an eyepatch worn to prevent the double vision that resulted from pressure from one of the many tumors. Throughout the story she showed the normal emotions to be expected in such a time, but also a faith in God and a desire to help others that can only be described as transcendental. The sanctity of the vocation of marriage and the true value of loving friendships illuminates the book. This is a book that needs to be read by all Christians, including those who do not like hospitals or Italian Catholic piety. It is a story that gives thanks for the present moment. It also shows us that at the end, and in the end, all we have is God, and if we are truly blessed, each other.

    For a printable PDF version of this review please click here.

    For a Meditation on the life and faith of Chiara Corbella Petrillo please click here.

    For the Open Library entry for this book click here.