Faith - Life of Carlotta Nobile

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«An example of extraordinary faith and love
ending with sacrifice.»
(Andrea Mugione, Archbishop of Benevento, on Carlotta Nobile)
Carlotta's story on TV2000 news (March 21, 2016)
Carlotta's story told on TV2000 (April 13, 2017)
Cancer and the blog
In October 2011, at only 22, Carlotta was diagnosed being afflicted with cancer: the initial reaction is anger for what is perceived as an irrational and unjust error of destiny, in the face of a life always devoted to study and self discipline. Within a few weeks, as Carlotta herself confided to his loved ones, her mood goes by the angry question  "Why me?" to the one "why not to me?!", in the face of the suffering of others, especially children with their own ills.
She fronted every possible cure and various surgical interventions while keeping on her musical and artistic career, alternating concerts and hospitals recoveries. On the national newspaper La Stampa, Sandro Cappelletto said: “The more the treatment was hard and the diagnosis got worse, the more her music became a form of rebellion to her destiny, her real life, never losing a bit of quality”.
In April 2012 she launched the Facebook page “Il Cancro e poi” (Cancer and Afterwords) and in August even the website, both keeping her identity concealed because, as she wrote to a friend six months before death: “I hate to feel pitiful, I hate who considers me weak, I’ve never felt so strong before. As long as I’m alive, can be ten or a hundred years, I will always love my life more than I used to. And I don’t want cancer to stop me, in any way. I want it to let me grow and give me a shape”.  This message puts in evidence her human and artistic intensity, as she was so generous with people asking her some words of comfort. “I love to communicate, I’ve been doing it with my violin since I was 4 and then I started with my words”, she said. Through her page she gathered a community of thousands of scarred people like her, who recognized themselves in her thoughts and reflections, finding there support and a helping hand. Her view on the disease was unique, different from all the others left on the internet: she didn’t mind the symptoms nor the therapy because she was only interested in taking care of herself through an interior path. Her look came from a strictly accurate analysis of the effects and deep reactions of her psyche to such a disease, so hard to be taken on.

«I don't even know how many centimeters of surgery scars have been drawn on my body, but I love them all, one by one. Every single centimeter of etched skin which will never be healed!
Those are the starting points of my wings.»
(Carlotta Nobile, Il Cancro E Poi_)

«Because you want to prove first of all to yourself that you can even suffer from IV stadium metastatic melanoma but LIVE. Live all joys, projects, sorrows, tears that life gives you every single day.
Because there's an Afterwards you'll never stop fighting for. Because nobody can keep you away from the certainty that – despite all the scars, surgeries, needles in veins, tests, contrast liquids, therapies and sorrows – there's a unique happiness waiting for you, there's your greatest dream which keeps looking at you from the future and can't wait to reach you. Because you know that all you're living now will be given back to you.
Because you clearly feel that the way you now have to look at life could have been reached just through this sorrow.»
(Carlotta Nobile, Il Cancro E Poi_, August 5, 2012)

«Cancer is a struggle we all must fight alone, equipped with courage, with our scars, with our dreams that seem to get further and further, with that tiny, simple need to come back to what we were. It’s a struggle we fight with tears in our eyes, with fears, saying quietly farewell to everything before that medical report, before that piece of white paper, with a few lines on it, that, in a moment, has changed everything.
It’s the war on the inside, the war of the stories in the History, the war of the human being against his smallness, against the foolishness innate in his cells, against the contradictions of his whole life, that in an instant headed all together right there, in a small patch of skin, the starting point. Just there, in a very few millimeters of flesh that in a second have decided to change their own nature.
It’s the struggle of solitude that stays as it is, even if you are among thousands of people, it’s the struggle for our dignity, for our strength, for our normality that wants to go away from us but that becomes our greatest miracle, afterwords.
The cancer, the metastasis and the therapies have not changed my aspect. They have only carved my body on parts that I hide and keep as they were graft points for my wings. I keep my blond hair, my pink cheeks. For stranger eyes, I keep on being the person I’ve always been...».
(Carlotta Nobile, Il Cancro E Poi_)

She used to talk and write about her disease with awareness, sensibility and – paradoxically – with passion, working on herself with a strong discipline and an inflexible rigor, facing cancer for two years with a great confidence in the redeeming power of Art and Music, producing them copiously and constantly, as if she had predicted her imminent end.
Her being an “oxymoron” - like the title of her second book, published in September 2012 – meant being ill and sane at the same time, apparently not touched by cancer but devastated inside. This contradiction became a great possibility: an attestation and a hope that were an inseparable part of her life and that consign to the people who didn’t know her, a testament which is alive and immortal, capable of giving help and support to everyone reading her words and meeting her thoughts.
During the period of her illness, playing in a duo with the American pianist of international renown Martin Berkofsky, she joined "Donatori di Musica" ("donors of music"), a social community involved in bringing music concerts in the Italian cancer wards. Even this time, she does not tell the others about her illness, except to Berkofsky and the doctors of the wards. About her social and charity commitment there's the book "Donatori di musica" by L. Fumagalli, Curci Editions (2015).
In the picture: Carlotta Nobile and American pianist Martin Berkofsky, as volunteers of Donors of Music, play for the patients of the oncology department of Carrara Hospital on 9 April 2013. The violinist would die three months later, followed by Berkofsky, who was also ill, in December.

(ENG) "I talk about it", the YouTube video posted by Carlotta, with her voice:
Illumination, the letter to the Pope, and the testimony of Faith
Carlotta’s nature and personality have always been complex, many-sided and suffering, from her childhood. Reading her writings it’s clear to see a dramatic vision of life and of her existence. Her extraordinary but brief growth, dominated by cancer in the last years, gave her the strength of taking control of her interior chaos, guiding it straight to the light. Her awareness made of courage and fight was born in a lay way, like a sentiment based on her education and culture, and then – three months before her death – it became spontaneously religious, in a total abandon in faith, lived like a source of rest so longed for.
Until March 2013, her religiosity was still characterized and nourished by her family’s doctrine, still needing to grow up. It happens that a 24 years girl – also a musician fond of art – directs her spirit to the infinite, without asking questions. Her mother was worried about it, sure that Carlotta would have found a great comfort from her possible abandon into faith, to better face her battle.
Suddenly after a crisis that brought her to the Hospital of Milano for a couple of days, on March 4th Carlotta received the Grace and the donation of Faith, a deep and strong Faith, capable of bringing up to the Transcendent her interior conquers and the supremacy on her illness and human fragility, reached through discipline and effort. It was like a prize for her way of facing a terrible destiny with dignity and courage, opening herself to the others, always giving – in all conditions – a smile, her love, hope and trust. It’s as if the result of accepting the Cross, initially in a lay way, had become immediately blessed by the miracle of God’s Grace, subliming the pain with joy. And for the last three months, until the end, it’s been a “joyful sublimation of pain”.

In fact, in the last months of her life, Carlotta lived a deep Faith experience, born suddenly on 4 March 2013 at her awakening from a crisis that brought her to the Hospital of Milan for a few days. This fact, perceived like a revelation, was anonymously told by Carlotta on her blog dedicated to cancer in the last post before her death:

«I'm healed in my soul. In an instant, in an ordinary day, as I awoke from a crisis.
I opened my eyes and I found I was a new person. And that's a miracle.»
(Carlotta Nobile, Il Cancro E Poi_, April 5, 2013)

She continued in the same post:

«And in a moment you understand that the cancer can HEAL YOUR SOUL, restore the balance in your life essence and give you Faith, hope, self abandon, consciousness of finally becoming who you really wanted to be in all your life but never were: a PEACEFUL WOMAN. So you understand that it’s the cancer that leads you to finally love yourself wholeheartedly, in your strengths and weaknesses, it leads you to savour each moment, each smell, each flavour, each perception, each word, each sharing, every little fragment of infinity condensed in a very common and very precious moment. You understand that it’s cancer with its torment and aggressiveness, with its brutality, to bring you the LIGHT in the end.»
(Carlotta Nobile, Il Cancro E Poi_, April 5, 2013)

Her spirituality was considerably inspired by Pope Francis's sermon calling young people to bear the Cross with joy (24 March 2013 Homily).

On Good Friday 2013, in the centre of Rome, Carlotta was looking for a church because she wanted to confess but usually they are closed during the lunch break. The only one left open was the San Giacomo in Augusta Church, in Via del Corso. There Carlotta met the parish priest don Giuseppe Trappolini, they had a very touching conversation and, as Don Giuseppe said, she "cried from Joy" as she talked about her story, her battle against melanoma and the tranquillity she felt after listening to the words of Pope Francis. The priest was moved by a remarkable coincidence: just the day before he was received with some other roman priests by the Pope and in that occasion the Holy Father asked them to keep the churches open on Good Friday all day long to allow anybody to confess. So Don Trappolini decided to tell the Pope the story of Carlotta in a letter and the Pope rang up back to tell he would pray for her. Even Carlotta wrote him a letter to communicate her faith in life and in God’s encounter. You can read in the letter:

«Dear Pope Francis,
You have changed my life.
I am honored and blessed to be able to carry the Cross with Joy at the age of 24. I know that cancer has healed my soul, by loosening all my interior knots and giving me Faith, Trust, Surrender, and an immense Serenity right at the time when my illness was most severe.
I trust in the Lord, and on my difficult and troubled path, I always see His help.
Dear Pope Francis, You have changed my life.
I would like to ask You something… I have an immense desire to meet You, even for only a moment. To pray together with You the "Our Father"!
"Give us this day our daily bread" and "Deliver us from evil" Amen.
I entrust this dream of mine to Don Giuseppe and I trust in God!
Pray for me, Holy Father. I pray for You every day.
(Carlotta Nobile, Letter to Pope Francis, April 12, 2013)
Thanks to Don Trappolini, Carlotta was about to meet personally the Pope but, in May 2013 her condition started to get worse and so she went back to Benevento and she spent the last months of her life, the most painful ones, in her family house. In those months she dedicated herself to prayers in a paradoxical mood of total trust, self abandon, and gratitude with God.
After two years of struggle, she died at the age of 24 on the 16th of July 2013, the day of Our Lady of Carmel.
The death of the Violin Angel – as the media and the web called her – was announced on the most renowned newspapers and national tv channels.

Her funerals were held in the morning of 17 July 2013 in the Basilica church of San Bartolomeo, so full to not contain all the people coming. After having read some fragments and personal messages through which Carlotta announced calmly the "healing" of her soul, the Rector of the Church Mgr Mario De Santis preached in his homily: «Young people, move, walk and find yourselves! She found the Faith. Today it’s not a sad day, on the contrary the bells will ring in a festive way because even if we cry for having lost a person, on the other side this event offers us the meaning of Resurrection».
In the picture: the family chapel where Carlotta Nobile rests, in the Municipal Cemetery of Benevento
On December 20, 2013, during a Mass celebrated in her suffrage in the Benevento Cathedral on her birthday, the Archbishop of Benevento Andrea Mugione remembered her as «an extraordinary example of Faith and love ending with sacrifice».

Her story of Faith, told and translated in different languages in 2016 by the catholic information site Aleteia, has spread on the web and on the Catholic press in Italy (where it was broadcast on the news of TV2000, Italian Episcopal Conference's TV channel), United States, France, Slovenia, Croatia, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Brazil, India and Vietnam.

In January 2017 the University Ministry of the Archdiocese of Benevento started the Facebook page "Carlotta Nobile, Testimone di Fede" ("Carlotta Nobile, Witness of Faith") to "collect, keep and enhance her beautiful testament of Faith, that keeps on drawing admiration and keeps on connecting many people, especially the young ones, from all over the world".

On April 13, 2017, on Holy Thursday, the story of "Carlotta Nobile, an extraordinary example of faith" was told on TV2000 by the program "Bel Tempo Spera", conducted by Lucia Ascione. Watch the episode on YouTube by clicking here!

Adapted from Wikipedia.
How to reach Carlotta's tomb (Municipal Cemetery of Benevento, Via del Cimitero, Benevento): entering through the main entrance, go straight along the main avenue until you are in front of the Mother Church. The Nobile Chapel is on the left, before the staircase of the church.
(ENG SUB) The three video-interviews on Carlotta's faith by Aleteia.Org:
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