May 14, 1944: a young Italian woman sits on a hillside above the city of Trent and watches her home destroyed by wartime bombing. Inside her are the first stirrings of a vision which would found an international movement dedicated to religious unity, peace, and devotion. Today, the Focolare Movement, begun by this determined woman, Chiara Lubich, has grown to number more than 4 million supporters, and is the largest world-wide Christian movement. Sometimes controversial often inspiring, Focolare has more than 150,000 committed members.
Chiara Lubich, awarded the Templeton Prize for progress in religion in 1977 and the 1996 UNESCO prize for peace, is one woman who has more influence on the world's bishops than any other. This illuminating and accessible portrait recounts for the first time how she played a key role in breaking down centuries of silence between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, acting as a go-between for Pope Paul VI to Patriarch Abtenagorus of Constaninople in the 1960s. She is now a regular confidant of Pope John Paul II. Jim Gallagher is the first biographer to be given exclusive access to this unassuming visionary, described by the great Italian statesman, Igino Giordani, as "the second Catherine of Siena".