St. Gianna Beretta Molla: A Modern Day Hero of Divine Love is a brilliant book, timely, relative, pertinent, and very helpful in light of the contemporary war being waged on traditional values such as faith, family, marriage, life, truth, morality, and religion. This woman was a doctor, wife and mother, yet her most fundamental title is that given to each human being at baptism, a child of God. Her fidelity and loyalty to the Almighty would not allow her to compromise one iota on innocent life nor would it allow her to succumb to the false and transitory values of the secular world. She sacrificed not only convenience, but even her own life, the supreme sacrifice anyone can make.
This book not only gives a concise biography of the saintly woman but also shows the relevance of having such people in human history. People like St. Gianna are able to make courageous and difficult decisions because of divine grace and divine mercy. The spiritual reservoir available to her is available to everyone and anyone. Hence, her sanctity need not be so rare and unique as long as all of us are willing to follow her example of total trust in divine providence and complete fidelity to the Will of God.
Best of all, this book gives facts and it gives hope. Hope in prayerful meditation on the life of St. Gianna the implications for the reader to be and to do better as a devout believer.
Rev. John Trigilio, Jr., PhD, ThD
President, Confraternity of Catholic Clergy
Program host for several EWTN programs
Author and guest radio host
Among the many and wonderful gifts which God gives to us in the Church, one of the most treasured is the friendship of the saints who have gone before us, following Christ with heroic faith, hope and charity. Through our communion of love with the saints, we come to hear more clearly the call of Christ to extraordinary holiness in the ordinary circumstances of our everyday life; and we enjoy the help of their prayers in responding to Christ’s call, as they have responded to His call before us.
In our society and culture which have become so totally secularized, dulling our ears to Christ’s call to holiness and leading us to betray the gift of His life within us, the friendship, example and intercession of the saints is more important to us than ever. The saints have known in their lives the struggle with the world and its allurements. They have known the temptations to betray Christ’s life in them in order to win favor with the anti-Christian forces of the culture. They show us how to remain close to Christ; and in our trials and temptations, they come to our assistance with their prayers.
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, wife and mother and physician, is especially close to those called to the married life and those who care for the sick. Having lived in our era, she knew well the threats to the holiness of husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, in our times. Her work with youth through Catholic Action fortified young women to lead lives of pure and chaste love. Having received from her parents a profound love of Christ in the Holy Eucharist and a corresponding strong devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and His Blessed Mother, she strove to hand on to the succeeding generation what were for her fundamental and critical spiritual practices.
Physicians, nurses and other health-care workers find in St. Gianna a loving and strong helper in navigating the waters of the contemporary practice of medicine, so heavily influenced by a technology that is often falsely and fatally divorced from morality. Saint Gianna’s patients received from her excellent medical care, but they also received something greater and more lasting: respect for the inviolable dignity of the gift of human life.
St. Gianna gave the ultimate witness to the truth of the dignity of every human life, without exception or boundary, when she offered her own life in sacrifice to save the life of the child in her womb. Her heroic witness to the respect owed to all human life was the culmination of her faithful response to the call to holiness of life. She is a particular source of inspiration and strength to spouses and parents who are called to make heroic sacrifices in fidelity to their vocation in life. She is a particular source of wisdom and courage for physicians and those who assist them in working to overcome the culture of death that besets our time and to establish a civilization of life and love.
May the concise but full biography of St. Gianna, so ably prepared by Thomas J. McKenna, with Colleen Carroll Campbell, lead you to a deeper friendship with St. Gianna if you already know her. If you have not yet come to know her, may it be the beginning of a lifetime friendship. By her example and prayers, may St. Gianna help us all to answer, with devotion and courage, Christ’s daily call to holiness of life.
The Most Reverend Raymond Leo Burke
Archbishop of Saint Louis
January 3, 2008 – Memorial of the Holy Name of Jesus