In times of great crisis and change in society God has always sent great and humble leaders to guide us and be here to help each one of us, to show us the way to salvation. Blessed John Paul II, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St Padre Pio, what real gems of hope and intercession.
There is another less known saint, St Gianna Berretta Molla. St Gianna comes as a mother who, in 1962, gave her own life so that her wee baby, Gianna, might have life. As a wife, mother and physician and, above all, a deep and ardent lover of Christ and Mother church, her exemplary life can now show us the way. She comes to show us that it is acceptable to be heroic. She shows us that it is acceptable to lay down our lives, if necessary, for the ones we love the most, in order to show greater love for the ONE who gave HIS very life for each one of us.
Fr Linus Clovis, along with Clare who has served FLI in Wellington for more than fifteen years, Maria our faithful volunteer from Dunedin and I had the wonderful privilege of celebrating St Gianna’s feast day in her own chapel in Mesero, a little village outside of Milan. Her daughter Gianna, now forty nine, hosted us and showed us all the relevant sites, churches, homes and places of work of her saint mother. The deep humility of Gianna and of all her family was the most precious thing I could encounter. The deep love for her saint mother, who she never knew, and the loving care she gave her own father for many years as a geriatrician is outstanding. The family bears witness to authentic Catholic Life.
We pray daily for the intercession of St Gianna for all Catholic mothers and all those of good will who suffer in pregnancy. St Gianna knows the pain and sorrow that each of you encounter on a daily basis, now more than ever with so much pressure on families to abort their children for the most minor reasons. It becomes urgent that we make St Gianna known throughout New Zealand. We must make her known and promote devotion to her. Already Gianna Mollas’ saint mother has interceded to God the most High for many, many mothers and parents. We have great faith that she, along with St Gerard Majella and Blessed John Paul II, are protecting our daughter Michelle who is preparing for her seventh ‘C’ Section birth in just nine years.
We know of so many heroic Catholic women in this country who are giving birth under very difficult circumstances and we encourage prayers through St Gianna for their and their baby’s protection.
For this reason we are starting the St Gianna Beretta Molla Society in NZ and Gianna has agreed to come down here to NZ to visit us all. Her visit will be in conjunction with John and Beth Porteous who are an integral part of the desire to bring this wonderful and timely saint’s daughter to NZ. Maria Fischer in Dunedin is co-coordinator for devotion to St Gianna here down under.
St Gianna will also be the patron saint of the Therese programme, which we started, to assist all parents who are being faced with the decision to abort a so-called defective child. We have an amazing resource available for these parents and offer whatever personal help is required so that they will choose to give life to their very special little one.
To read more about St Gianna’s life click here