Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Trip to St Gianna

Earlier this week, my mom sent me a link to a parish on the other side of our diocese that would be hosting the relics of St Gianna Beretta Molla.

The article didn't contain much more detail than the parish, but we decided to make it an adventure and hit the road Saturday to make the afternoon mass - 3.5 hours away. 

I packed Sweet Pea and Little Bean in the car, picked up my mom, and off we headed. 

Sweet Pea is not known for her napping these days and hasn't fallen asleep in the car in ages. She slept almost the whole way there. Don't discount the everyday miracles!

We arrived at the church about 45 minutes before mass, unsure of what to really expect. The church had a rosary that started half an hour before mass, and as I stood walking SP back and forth in the back of the cry room-less church, the priest walked by. 

I hadn't seen him in 20 years, but he had been an assistant at our parish when I was a teen. As he walked by me, he stopped, turned and said, "you're a {maiden name} aren't you?"  He asked if my parents were there and I pointed to my mom and LB near the front of the church. 

A few minutes later, as we were settling back in our pew for mass, Father came up and asked LB and my mom to bring up gifts. 

After mass, the President of the St Gianna Molla Society in Pennsylvania spoke for a few minutes. 

He brought with him hundreds of rosaries, prayer cards, and two sets of St Gianna's gloves. He also told us a beautiful story about a young girl being healed from cancer after touching a glove - and the unusual request of St Gianna's husband that the relics not be enclosed. 

If you're at all familiar with relics, you may have seen the container (reliquary) housing and preserving the relic. It is tradition that relics be enclosed and so protected. But, honoring the request of her husband, the relics of St Gianna were not enclosed and we were encouraged to pick them up, touch them to an area that needed especial healing and take the time to pray as we stood there, holding her relic. 

As they were preparing the relics to be presented to the congregation, the president became very insistent that my mom help. Not in an unkind way, but just in a very direct, "you're the one who is supposed to help" kind of way. 

LB, SP and I were in the first row to go up. We prayed together and then returned to our seat. 

Before we had gone up, I whispered to LB to ask healing of her many allergies and food sensitivities. As were standing up there together, I prayed for a healing from infertility, and said the names of a few friends who are struggling greatly with infertility and pregnancy loss, then asked a general intercession for anyone I know who might be suffering with infertility and pregnancy loss. 

When we returned to our seat, I asked LB if she had prayed for her allergies. 

Her response made me tear up, "I forgot Mom, I was just praying so hard for you to have babies." *cue the water works* Seriously, that girl. 

Since my mom was assisting, we waited as the people went through the line. There was one couple in particular that really pierced my heart. A younger couple, no children, with tears in their eyes as they walked forward to touch the relics. I felt especially compelled to pray for them as they held the relics. 

After the line was finished, I told LB we were going up again so we could say a particular prayer for her allergies. At this point, my mom was finished assisting and was able to pray with us. 

I held the glove to LB's mouth and prayed for her healing. As I kissed her forehead, the priest snapped a photo. Hopefully the glove over her mouth doesn't look like I'm trying to smother her if that photo shows up in the diocesan paper :)

One the second trip up, I also grabbed a rosary for a friend who couldn't make it because she had to work. As I held it to St Gianna's relics, I prayed for her healing. 

The drive home felt about twice as long with the girls getting a little squirrely until SP, thankfully, fell back asleep. We arrived home late and exhausted, but with a story of an adventure for sure.

+ St. Gianna, pray for us +


  1. I loved reading this. I am inspired by your faith, and I love that LB knows her mama's heart & put your needs/desires before hers. What an amazing little girl.

  2. Such a beautiful post. Your daughter's prayers...oh my. I pray that your family is blessed in many ways.

  3. So so beautiful. Your daughter's prayer is so pure and holy. Thank you for sharing and prayers from me, too.

  4. That is SOOO cool!! Our group is going to meet her daughter whose life Gianna died for when we go to Philly in September for the Papal Mass:)

  5. Sounds like a worthwhile trip. your LB is so precious!!! :0)

  6. Wow, this is so special! You are raising saints, that's for sure. :) And let's all look forward to your healing ASAP!


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