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Chiara Lubich

Chiara Lubich
  • Founder of Focolare
  • Winner of Templeton Prize in 1977
  • UNESCO Peace Education Prize in 1966
Chiara Lubich, the founder and spiritual leader of the Focolare movement, was born Silvia Lubich in Italy. She took a Catholic vow of chastity at age twenty-three in the midst of Allied bombings of Trent, where she lived. In honor of Clare of Assisi, she changed her name to Chiara. When her house was destroyed, she chose to stay in the city and minister to others suffering there. During this time, the Focolare, a movement made up of small communities of people seeking to achieve peace and unity within their social surroundings, was born. Today there are around 2 million people associated with Focolare, with about four thousand core members taking vows and living in community. Lubich was awarded the Templeton Prize for her “exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension” in 1977 and the UNESCO Peace Education Prize in 1996. She wrote several books and traveled and spoke widely throughout her lifetime. Chiara Lubich died in March 2008 at the age of 88. 

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