I think that life is wonderful even in its most terrible aspects; and my soul is full of gratitude and love for God for this.
Benedetta Bianchi Porro
Benedetta was born in Dovadola
As soon as she was born in Dovàdola, «a country of hard and sinuous beauty. 19 kilometers from Forlì ", Benedetta was hit by severe bleeding. At the mother's request, she was given the "necessity" baptism with Lourdes water. Five days later, on August 13, after regaining a certain physical stability, she was solemnly baptized and called Benedetta Bianca Maria. At three months old Benedetta fell ill with polio, which left her right leg shorter than the other, later forcing her to wear a heavy orthopedic shoe. Between March and May 1937 she suffered from repeated bronchitis and severe otitis.
"It is a beautiful day and I am also happy because I received Jesus in my heart, I promised Jesus that I will make communion every Sunday in May".
The University phase
Despite the precarious health situation, in October 1953, at the age of 17, Benedetta enrolled at the University of Milan. Initially influenced by her father, she enrolled in the physics department. However, later on and after reflecting on her vocation, she switched to Medicine. Due to the increasingly bad physical conditions, on November 30, 1960 she had to drop University. In January 1961 she started again to write in her diary, activity that she had suspended during her years at the university.
The first pilgrimage to Lourdes
The writing of the diary definitively ended in October 1962. Her thoughts, entirely concerning religion and her inner journey, were after written on the Agenda della Motta. Writing was a great effort for Benedetta and it would require her a considerable amount of time.
Due to a deterioration of her sight, on 12 December she went under a new surgery, however after it she became completely blind. The only contact with the outside world was through the palm of her hand. The mother communicated with her through signs and Benedetta answered with an imperceptible whisper.
Suffering until the end, Benedetta, which has been beatified on September, 14th 2019 in the cathedral of Forlì, has approached her disease with courage, strength and serenity. In this way she has been reminded by Cardinal Angelo Becciu (representing the Pope), the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Benedetta Bianchi Porro's room
InHotel Meridiana*** Sirmione the room where she lived her ordeal and death has been preserved. This room is currently open to visitors and is a place of prayer where pilgrims go to remember it.
It was initially Father David Maria Turoldo who edited the edition of Benedetta Bianchi Porro's writings, which generally do not go beyond short notes, but in the following period some cardinals dedicated introductions and comments.
The works written by Benedetta during her years of suffering are:
- Benedetta's notebooks - Il cammino verso la Luce(The path to Light), published in 2007 by Divo Barsotti.
- Scritti Completi, Edizioni San Paolo, 2006