martes, 6 de octubre de 2015

" I am here now, in your room, your last room…" Enrico and Chiara had longed simply to be a ‘normal’ family:

Saints are Still Being Made


I am here now, in your room, your last room… It was here the doors were opened and He came in person to meet you…

So starts a quite remarkable book: Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy by Simone Troisi & Cristiana Paccini, just translated into English and published by Sophia Institute Press. Indeed, the publishers are to be commended for bringing the subject to a wider audience. This is especially so given what the book contains within its pages: a tale that manages to be contemporaneous as well as speaking of more ancient truths about the sorrows of the human condition.

Those opening lines, quoted above, spoken by a husband in a room where his young wife entered into eternity, form part of a Preface. It is a meditation of sorts on what is to follow, as this is a book not simply for reading. Its emotional pull is too strong for that. Instead here is a book to be prayed over, revisited, underlined, pondered on, re-read. It is for mothers and fathers, and for those who have lost children, whether born or unborn. It is also for those thinking of marriage as a vocation. For all that it is a short book, just 160 pages; this is fitting for the brief life it records, but like that life the book has a depth that belies its length. For now, however, let us leave the bereaved husband standing in that room of memory and turn instead to a beginning, and a happier time.


Their eyes met across a crowded hotel dining room. As in the best love stories, theirs was to be a chance meeting that both knew was somehow decisive. Both were visiting a Marian shrine, although they had travelled separately, he with a girlfriend. The latter had departed the scene by the time Enrico Petrillo was sitting in the room where he saw Chiara for the first time. And, as he did so, he noted two things. The first was that the only free seat in the room was beside him; the second was that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever set eyes on and already he felt it would take little to fall in love with her. She walked towards the empty seat and as she did so her eyes looked into his … and thus it began.

Things did not run smoothly, of course; the path of true love rarely does. Such was the case with this young couple. After all, she was 18; he was 23 – both had much maturing to do. Nevertheless, from that meeting in the summer of 2002 they were to be together in a relationship as intense as it was all too human. They split up several times. They got back together. Soon they realised that they needed to make a decision. There was something else that they came to realise too: alone they couldn’t love each other – human sentiment was not enough. They decided to go on a walking pilgrimage to Assisi; by the end, they were engaged. During that walk, three times Enrico asked her to marry him, three times Chiara said yes …


No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario