A Father Z Favorite: Saint Gianna Molla

April 28, 2013

Saint Gianna Molla

28 April 2008

Prepare to be amazed! The 2nd miracle of St. Gianna Molla

CATEGORY: SESSIUNCULUM — Fr. John Zuhlsdorf @ 3:54 pm

I have posted this before, but it seemed appropriate to repost it today, the anniversary of the death of St. Gianna Molla in great year of 1962.  It is her feast day today.  This is one of the saints of our time whom I would like to see included in an updated version of the traditional Roman calendar, which could stand some touching up, frankly.

In 2005 I wrote a piece in the Catholic Online Forum on the 2nd miracle through the intercession of St. Gianna. 

I reproduce it here, somewhat edited, on her feast day.  The account of this miracle gave me shivers.  I had to share it.  Recently we heard news about a possible miracle for Ven. John Henry Newman and the process for the miracle at the Congregation (here and especially here).  Sometimes we don’t get many details about what these miracles are all about.

You perhaps can fall into wondering, “Was it really all that unusual?

You decide.

Here is my original post.  I wrote this when I was pretty much thinking only in Italian, so if it sounds odd here and there, that is why:

Since I have just recently finished over 100 hours of training at the Congregation for Causes of Saints concerning the history, theology and juridial dimensions of causes of beatification and canonization (investigating the life, heroic virtues, martyrdom, reputation of holiness, reputation of martyrdom, miracles, etc.), I figured I should put some of that training to use and occasionally produce some of it here with some comments that might be of use to others. After all, what training I get isn’t just for me: it has to be for the whole Church or it is worth only the cost of the parchment.

We had the chance to learn from and question the officials of the Congregation, the experts who collaborate with it, and the physicians and historians who are experts consultants. We had lectures from the Prefect, Secretary and Under-Secretary, the Promotor of the Faith (so-called “Devil’s Advocate” is a misnomer, really) and the Relator General. We had tours of the archives and attended the proceedings of the opening of a cause in the Roman phase. Abundant materials were provided and we were, naturally, allowed then to be thoroughly tested on them.

Going into the course I was not sure what to expect, but I brought a certain measure of sceptism about some things I had heard (mostly due to faulty and insufficient information, I see now). I heard stories of lives and of miracles which left me nearly with my jaw on the table as I listened and saw the documentation.

This was a privilege which for the rest of my priesthood will affect how I can help other people understand things about the life of grace in a way I could Read the rest of this entry »

5 years ago: Paola Brenda sacrifices life for “gift of motherhood, the gift of having children

April 8, 2013

Paola Brenda sacrifices life for “gift of motherhood, the gift of having children”

By Michael Baggot

PIEVE DI SOLIGO, Italy, May 1, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an act of sacrifice comparable to that of pro-life patroness St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Italian mother Paola Breda recently died after having declined potentially life-saving cancer treatment that could have harmed her unborn child.

Breda was diagnosed with breast cancer six months into her pregnancy with her child Nicola, but postponed treatment until after Nicola’s birth.

During her funeral, Vittorio Veneto Bishop Corrado Pizziolo called Breda an exemplification of Jesus Christ’s Gospel call “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

“What Jesus did – the Gospel which He lived for us – this is what we see carried out in the life of our sister,” said the Bishop according to the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

Father Giuseppe Nadal told Radio Vaticana that Breda was disappointed that she and her husband Loris Amodei were unable to have a child until a decade into their marriage.

Both Breda’s first child, Illaria, and her second child, Nicola, brought their mother great joy, said the priest. Fr. Nadal also recounted a teary-eyed Breda coming to him during her second pregnancy.

“‘I’ve been diagnosed with cancer, and they are suggesting chemotherapy, but that would hurt the baby. I absolutely don’t want that, because I always asked for the gift of motherhood, the gift of having children,” said Breda.

St. Molla was a Milanese pediatric doctor pregnant with her fourth child when she learned of a fibroma in her uterus and declined either the abortion or complete hysterectomy that would have saved her life.

Before surgery to rescue her unborn child, St. Molla told doctors, “If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child – I insist on it. Save him.”

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Paola Breda.