Life is a journey and during it we all take different types of paths. Some of those paths take us on trips, some of them bring us to our destined career, and some of them lead us to the vocation God has for us. Just like us, St. Gianna Beretta Molla took all of those paths, but she also took another one very few of us will ever take – the path to sainthood. On Saturday, May 3, at our Mother’s Day Celebration and May Crowning, a chapel full of attendees learned about this blessed woman’s journey and just how much we can rely on her prayers in our time of need.
Following a Mass celebrated by our chaplain, Father E. Francis Kelly, Mr. Robert White, president of the Society of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, provided attendees with a captivating presentation about St. Gianna’s journey to sainthood as well as the power of her intercessory prayers.
Revered by the Catholic Church as a patron saint for mothers, physicians, and unborn children as well as a powerful intercessor for couples experiencing infertility, St. Gianna was born October 4, 1922 in Magenta, Italy. Although she did not excel in her studies as a child, following a spiritual retreat in 1938 focusing on St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, her grades improved dramatically. In fact she became so focused on academics, she became a doctor and opened a medical clinic in 1950 and later became a pediatric specialist in 1952.
Although her career was quite fulfilling, God took her on an additional path which led her to her future husband, Pietro Molla. After dating for just nine months, the couple married in 1955. During their marriage, they were blessed with three healthy children, but tragedy struck during Gianna’s final pregnancy. Due to complications from a uterine tumor, Gianna was faced with choosing her life or that of her unborn child. Without hesitation, Gianna fiercely insisted if a choice needed to be made the baby’s life should be spared instead of her own. Following the healthy delivery of her fourth child on April 21, 1962, Gianna Beretta Molla died at the age of 39 on April 28, 1962.
After hearing such an interesting account of St. Gianna’s life, we were blessed (or you might say it was providential) to have our very own Gianna serve as the May Queen for our May Crowning. Gianna Evans, who is the 11 year old granddaughter of one of our Residents, Barbara Pascale, processed up the middle aisle of our chapel with her mother, Jean, at her side as Barbara carried Our Lady’s crown of flowers.
Following the May Crowning, everyone in attendance, including several individuals who traveled more than an hour to our home, was looking forward to venerating and holding a pair of gloves that actually belonged to St. Gianna herself! And it’s no wonder everyone wanted to hold them after Mr. White explained that many people have reported experiencing various types of healings after holding the gloves. Just a few of them include a child being healed of cancer as well as couples who had been experiencing infertility suddenly finding themselves expecting! Talk about the power of prayer!
To learn more about this fascinating saint, please visit the Society’s website at www.saintgianna.org. To view photos of our special day, please click on the slide show listed below.
Until next time,