At the beginning of her exhausting ascent, Benedetta had written in her diary: "Dear Diary - I long for liberty, but how far from the prison of my life is this reality!" Later, at the peak of her suffering, she said to her mother, who was worried lest the little canary she had given her as a gift, might remind her of her own captivity: "No, Mother, I have never felt as free as I am now".

What a felicitous message far those who suffer, for those who are shut in! What an example for all those who do not know that "God in His goodness makes everything new, and with Him everything is possible", even the most dire suffering and loneliness!

This truth was revealed in the new life that this valiant young apostle of suffering was to build for herself to help others. Her room soon became a "crossroad of  lives", beautiful young lives: the medical students who suddenly realised that she would no longer be with them as they pursued their medical careers; young friends, who suddenly realised how much they loved her and what an example of gentleness, joy, humble gratitude and tireless zeal she had been to them.

Slowly the disease will take away the senses of taste, touch and smell. In these sorrowful years, her friend Maria Grazia is always beside her; silently she is helping her. Benedetta will tell Maria Grazia her daily struggles and the secret joy of some moments too: "I do have many temptations, please pray for me. If I tell things with no meaning, tell Him to close my mouth. I happen to be on the ground at times, under the weight of a heavy cross. Then I call to Him with love, I am at His feet and He sweetly let me lay my head on His lap. Do you know Maria Grazia? Do you know the sweetness of these moments?"

Through Maria Grazia, Nicoletta will be introduced as a new friend to Benedetta and will be of great spiritual support to her.

Many other friends will touch this shore in full communion and this will turn Benedetta's bedroom into a "crossroad of lives". "We would go all together to visit her. Hers was not a bed anymore; beyond every evidence, Benedetta would make us forget that we were visiting a sick person. During the whole day, we would talk to her in turn; there were moments for laughing, yes, we were singing together, praying Vespers together". (From Paola's testimony). Her friends are walking with her on her spiritual journey. Benedetta loves them all deeply, tenderly, and together they are one. When her friends can't visit her, they send her letters, like a gift from God.

"Dear Nicoletta, thank you for your letter. While it was read to me I was thinking that I received a grace and that such a joy was coming down from heaven... St. Augustine says. I tasted you and now I hunger and thirst for you; you touched me and now I am burning with the desire for your peace."

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