Italian teen, who died of brain tumor, on his way to sainthood

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Matteo Farina, an Italian teen who died from a brain tumor in 2009 has been declared “venerable” by Pope Francis.

At nearly 19 years old, this young man left a legacy behind that could be forever remembered by the Catholic Church. 

Fr. Claudio Cenacchi led the diocesan process for canonization. It started in 2014 and gathered material from all who knew him. 

Episcopal delegate
One significant characteristic of Matteo was how he lived an adult faith. The maturity of faith is found in three aspects: time dedicated to prayer, where you put your money and how you speak about others.

Fr. Cenacchi said Matteo's life reflected these three areas in an advanced way, that many adults still have not reached. 

Even when he was suffering, his friends noticed his bravery.

“While he was sick, he never asked, 'Why me?' He battled it all with enormous courage. After three surgeries in Germany, he prepared for his exam to graduate. However, he never got to take it because he died April 24, 2009.”

After studying his life, Fr. Claudio says if he could suggest a patronage for the teen, he would make him the patron saint of evangelizers. 

Diocesian process for canonization
“He had a great desire for others to know Jesus and love Him. He wanted to spread the Gospel in his city, where he lived, in school, with his friends and in his family.”

He had a sister, Erika, and a girlfriend named Serena. Both testified to how he lived his life with Christ at the center and how much he loved others.

Matteo Farina's memory not only remains in his homeland in southern Italy, but is spreading throughout the world. Now the Church is waiting for two miracles at the cause of his intercession to move him on to be beatified and then canonized. 

Melissa Butz

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