Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Saint Gianna Beretta Molina

I don't consider myself very religious but having been brought up in a Catholic family and studied in Catholic schools, I believe in the power of prayer.  When I was pregnant with Ben, I was on bed-rest because I was bleeding.  One of the things that kept me sane was praying for our health.  I've also been quite fascinated with the lives of saints, maybe because I'm curious about how they lived their lives and defended their faith.

As I was surfing about patron saints for mothers, the story of Saint Gianna struck me.  First because she is quite recent (lived through 1922-1962 and canonized 2004) and second because her story was quite simple.  She's a mom, wife and pediatrician who was diagnosed with a tumor in her uterus during her pregnancy with her 4th child.  Despite this complication, she chose not to end the pregnancy.  She eventually gave birth to her youngest daughter.  Unfortunately, St. Gianna died a few days afterwards.  Her youngest daughter, who was named after her, grew up to be a doctor herself.   She was then beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1994 and was canonized ten years after.  What's unique is her family was able to witness her canonization in their lifetime.  I used the think that it took ages before a saint finally gets canonized. 

Anyway, since word has spread about St. Gianna, more and more mothers have asked her to pray for their safe pregnancy.  In a website dedicated to her, you can read testimonials from all over the world about how they asked for St. Gianna to intercede for them which resulted to favorable results despite the odds being against them.

 Whether or not you believe in the power of prayer is up to you.  I think all prayers are answered, but sometimes not the way we expected.  But we all need to be inspired with good models once in a while, and maybe St. Gianna can be one of them 

God our Father we praise You and we bless you because in Saint Gianna Beretta Molla you have given us one who witnessed to the Gospel as a young women, as a wife, as amother, and as a doctor. We thank you because through the gift of her life we can learn to welcome and honor every human person. You, Lord Jesus, were for Gianna a splendid example. She learned to recognize you in the beauty of nature.  As she was questioning her choice of vocation she went in search of you and the best way to serve you.  Through her married love she became a sign of your love for the Church and for humanity.  Like you, the Good Samaritan, she cared for everyone who was sick, small or weak. Following your example, out of love she gave herself entirely, generating new life.                                                  

Holy Spirit, Source of every perfection, give us wisdom,  intelligence, and courage so that, following the example of  Saint Gianna and through her intercession, we may know how to place ourselves at the service of each person we  meet in our personal, family and professional lives, and thus grow in love and holiness. Amen

1 comment:

  1. I had the same bleeding episodes on my first pregnancy. I too prayed to then Blessed Gianna Beretta-Molla. I gave birth to a baby girl in 2000, whom I named Gianna, as promised. =)