Today, April 28th, 2020, is the 58th Anniversary of the death of St. Gianna Beretta Molla. Gianna was a doctor, a wife, and a mother. She lived her life joyfully, always following the will of God. She ministered to her patients, cared for her children, and loved her husband. During her 4th pregnancy, a tumor was discovered on her uterus. Gianna chose to protect the life of her baby and died following her daughter’s birth. If you are interested in learning more about her, my favorite books on her are A Woman’s Life and Love Letters to My Husband.
When I was a 7th grader, I chose St. Gianna to be my confirmation saint. Looking back, I could not tell you why I chose her. I did not even know that many details of her story at that point. I only knew that she had died saving the life of her baby. Yet when I found her, I did not hesitate. I knew she was the saint for me.
As the years have gone by, I have realized more and more how St. Gianna has shaped my life and been the perfect companion for me. She is the patron of the unborn. When a few years ago, I worked as a sidewalk counselor for a pro-life organization, I turned to her constantly, asking for courage to help other women see the sanctity of life.
Gianna struggled to understand God’s plan for her. She wanted to go overseas as a missionary but she was called to serve those in her own community. She encourages me when I face the same doubts and struggles with understanding God’s plan.
Gianna loved people. She cared about each person she encountered, allowing them to experience God’s love through her. She was so joyful and truly loved life.
She encourages me to spread joy through my example. As a melancholic, Gianna helps me to see to see the beauty and the joy of everyday life.
As I continue to go through my life, I will always look to St. Gianna. She continues to guide me and inspire me to find true happiness in following God’s call. She is a true saintly friend. 🙂
St. Gianna’s True Hymn to Joy
Smile at God, from whom every gift comes to us;
smile at the Father with ever more perfect prayer;
smile at the Holy Spirit;
smile at Jesus who you approach at Mass, in Holy Communion, and in Eucharistic adoration;
smile at the person who represents Christ on earth: the Pope,
smile at your confessor, the one who personifies God even when he challenges you to reject sin;
smile at the Blessed Virgin, to whose example you must conform your life, so that, seeing you, people might be led to holy thoughts;
smile at your Guardian Angel, because this angel has been given to you by God to lead you into Paradise;
smile at your parents, brothers, and sisters, even when they challenge your pride;
smile always in forgiving offenses;
smile in associating with others, banishing all criticism and murmuring;
smile at everyone the Lord sens you during the day.