Wednesday, April 30, 2014

5 Favorites {no. 9} Rainy Day edition

Well, here we are on the last day of April (can you believe it?) and it is a very, very rainy day here in NYC. But we all know that April showers bring May flowers, so let's focus on that, shall we?

Here are five of my favorites for a rainy day:

{1} a quality pair of rain boots
{via}
I received my Hunter boots as a Christmas gift a few years back, and let me tell you - they are just wonderful. My feet are always warm and dry, no matter how large the puddles (and they've been tested!). I actually wear them year-round, with liners as snow boots (the streets get so slushy here in the city after a snow that you really need something waterproof). 

{2} a sturdy umbrella
totes Stately - Auto Wooden Stick Umbrella
{via}
Need I say more? :)

{3} a fabulous rain coat
{via}
A rain coat is great for some added protection. I bought one at a Columbia outlet a few years back and have had great luck with it. Mine is white, but a fun pop of color always brightens up the gloom!

{4} reading
{via}
Whether it's a great book, a great blog post, or your favorite magazine, rainy days are great for reading.

Perfect timing for a stay-at-home date night, complete with a movie! One of our favorites is You've Got Mail. Tell me you've seen it.

What do you like to do on a rainy day?
And be sure to visit Hallie at Moxie Wife for more favorites...




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Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy Feast of Saint Gianna!
Our Novena {Day 9} and Our Sweet Baby's Name

Happy Feast of Saint Gianna! I hope you'll join me in celebrating this day. I plan to make an Italian dinner in honor of her heritage - probably lasagna. And we'll have these delicious brownies for dessert, because surely St. Gianna liked chocolate. (I sure do!)

I am so thankful for each of you who has prayed this novena with me. Whether you have been here for the novena in its entirety, or if you stopped by for a day or two, I am grateful.
It is always a blessing to be able to join together in prayer, and I hope the novena was fruitful for you, as it was for me. Today I am praying for each of you and your intentions, that wherever you are in your faith journey, St. Gianna would be an inspiration and a light for you.
Our novena:

God, our Father, You have granted to Your church the gift of Gianna Beretta Molla. In her youth she lovingly sought You and drew other young people to You, involving them, through apostolic witness and Catholic Action, in the care of the sick and aged, to help and comfort them.

We thank You for the gift of this young woman, so deeply committed to You. Through her example grant us the grace to consecrate our lives to Your service, for the joy of our brothers and sisters. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

Jesus, Redeemer of mankind, You called Saint Gianna to exercise the medical profession as a mission for the comfort of bodies and souls. In her suffering fellow men and in the little ones, deprived of all support, she saw You. 

We thank You for having revealed Yourself to this servant as “one who serves” and who soothes the sufferings of men. Treasuring her example may we become generous Christians at the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those with whom You deign to share Your Cross.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

God, Sanctifying Spirit, who love the Church as Your Bride, You poured into the heart of Saint Gianna a share of Your Love so that she could radiate it in her family, and thus cooperate with You in the wonderful plan of creation, and give life to new children who could know and love You.
We thank You for this model wife and, through her encouraging witness, we beg You to grant to our families the serene and Christian presence of mothers committed to transform their homes into cenacles of faith and love, rich with generous activity and sanctifying service.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

O God, Creator and lover of mankind, You were close to Saint Gianna when, affected by illness, she was in the painful dilemma of choosing between her own life and the life of the child whom she was carrying in herself, a gift long-awaited. Trusting You alone, and aware of Your Commandment to respect human life, Gianna found the courage to do her duty as a mother and to say “yes” to the new life of her baby, generously sacrificing her own. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and after the example of Gianna, inspire all mothers to welcome with love the sparkle of new life. Grant us the grace we are praying for {say your intentions} and the joy to find an inspiration in Saint Gianna who, as a model spouse and mother, after the example of Christ, gave up her life for the life of others. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


{novena source}
For a wealth of information on Saint Gianna, visit saintgianna.org.

•     •     •
As you may know, in March my husband and I suffered the miscarriage of our first child. In the midst of the heartbreak and sadness, it was important to us that we give our child a name. Since we were not far enough along to know whether our baby was a boy or a girl, we chose to name him with one of each: Thomas Gianna

We named our sweet baby after two wonderful saints. Thomas is for St. Thomas Aquinas. His feast day is January 28. Thanks be to God for NFP, we are fairly certain our baby was conceived on or right around that day. We plan to celebrate the gift of our child's life then in the years to come. St. Thomas Aquinas was a man of great virtue and is the patron saint of students (my husband Michael is currently a Ph.D. student, and St. Thomas Aquinas is also who he received as his patron saint of the year for 2014). St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.

Gianna is after St. Gianna Beretta Molla, who suffered two miscarriages. As patron saint of the unborn and of mothers, she has been a very dear saint to me in recent days. Her life was a witness to the beauty and value of human life, and the love God has for every soul. St. Gianna, pray for us.

Michael and I have faith in the loving mercy of God. We have faith that our baby now has a place among the angels and the saints, and that he now experiences the love and glory of God that we hope to one day experience together. Thomas Gianna, pray for us.

"Love and sacrifice are clearly linked, like the sun and the light.
We cannot love without suffering and we cannot suffer without love."
{Saint Gianna Beretta Molla}
{beautiful graphic via}
Wishing you a most blessed Feast of Saint Gianna...




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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Answer Me This & St. Gianna Novena {Day 8}

Happy Sunday! 

Kendra of Catholic All Year recently started a Sunday series called Answer Me This where she asks her readers a few questions, and then anyone can play along and answer. Fun, right? 
Well, the delightful Miss Kendra herself tagged me last Sunday, and I'd love to join in - so here are my answers to this week's questions: 

1. Do you hate happy clappy church music?
I suppose that would depend upon what one considers to be "happy clappy church music." 

When I was going to school in Ann Arbor I served as the music director for the Newman Choir at St. Mary Student Parish for five years. This choir sang at the 7:00 p.m. Mass, and our repertoire often leaned towards/was contemporary. One may have even considered some of our selections "happy clappy." I'm sure of it, in fact. (It may be worth mentioning that for some reason I have a negative connotation with the adjectives "happy clappy." Maybe it's because the question asks me if I hate it, or maybe I'm just being overly sensitive and taking this question too seriously because I am passionate about church music. Probably the latter.)

To answer the question: If the music moves the congregation in prayer or in praise and has appropriate placement within the Mass, then no, I don't hate happy clappy church music. (Though I probably wouldn't describe that music as "happy clappy.") However, as soon as the music becomes a distraction or showy in any way, I think there's a problem. But music that enhances liturgy, inspires prayer and leads the congregation closer to our Lord - I can get behind that, clapping or no clapping. 
Graduation Mass 2008
Disclaimer: Michael is very distressed that he is wearing jeans in this picture,
which is not his preferred Mass attire.
2. What is your priority: eating or sleeping?
Oh, tough question! I think I would have to say...hmm...eating. Though sleeping is definitely good, too!

3. What type of milk do you drink in your house?
Skim. And if we lived in a town that sold Prairie Farms dairy, that would be the brand because my father-in-law works for them. Family pride & loyalty! Though honestly, I can't remember the last time I poured myself a glass of milk to drink (must have been with a piece of cake or cookies!). This may or may not have something to do with the fact that when I was growing up, my sister and I had to have a glass of milk with dinner every.single.night. When we got a little older we could choose to have water instead - oh, that was a happy day!  

4. What is a book that changed your perspective on something?
Life-Giving Love : Embracing God's Beautiful Design for Marriage by Kimberly Hahn opened my eyes and changed my perspective on living out God's design for marriage. It is truly beautiful.  

5. Who is your favorite saint?
Though I am a cradle Catholic, I did not fully appreciate the blessing of the Communion of Saints until very recently. In the week of waiting when we weren't sure what was going to happen to our baby I would pray a litany of the saints or just call on all the saints I could think of to pray for us. As for my favorite saint...if you've been reading my blog this week, I bet you'll never guess. {wink.}

My favorite saint would probably have to be St. Gianna (though St. Michael the Archangel is a close second!). This is the eighth day of a novena I have been praying here on the blog along with my readers. Do you know her? If not, reading some of her quotations might be a great place to start.

6. Introvert or extrovert?
I don't think I'm completely one or the other, though if I absolutely had to pick one, I'd say introvert. 

That was fun! Thank you, Kendra! Click on over to the linkup for more answers to these questions. I'd love to hear yours. :)


And, as I mentioned in question no. 5, today is the eighth day of our novena to ask St. Gianna Beretta Molla, patron saint of mothers, unborn children, and physicians, to pray for us. We'll finish the novena tomorrow, April 28 - St. Gianna's feast day! Whether you've been praying with us daily or you just stopped by today, I'd love for you to join us in prayer. And if you have any intentions you'd like to pray for, I invite you to share them in the comments. 
Please pray with me:

God, our Father, You have granted to Your church the gift of Gianna Beretta Molla. In her youth she lovingly sought You and drew other young people to You, involving them, through apostolic witness and Catholic Action, in the care of the sick and aged, to help and comfort them.

We thank You for the gift of this young woman, so deeply committed to You. Through her example grant us the grace to consecrate our lives to Your service, for the joy of our brothers and sisters. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

Jesus, Redeemer of mankind, You called Saint Gianna to exercise the medical profession as a mission for the comfort of bodies and souls. In her suffering fellow men and in the little ones, deprived of all support, she saw You. 

We thank You for having revealed Yourself to this servant as “one who serves” and who soothes the sufferings of men. Treasuring her example may we become generous Christians at the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those with whom You deign to share Your Cross.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

God, Sanctifying Spirit, who love the Church as Your Bride, You poured into the heart of Saint Gianna a share of Your Love so that she could radiate it in her family, and thus cooperate with You in the wonderful plan of creation, and give life to new children who could know and love You.
We thank You for this model wife and, through her encouraging witness, we beg You to grant to our families the serene and Christian presence of mothers committed to transform their homes into cenacles of faith and love, rich with generous activity and sanctifying service.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

O God, Creator and lover of mankind, You were close to Saint Gianna when, affected by illness, she was in the painful dilemma of choosing between her own life and the life of the child whom she was carrying in herself, a gift long-awaited. Trusting You alone, and aware of Your Commandment to respect human life, Gianna found the courage to do her duty as a mother and to say “yes” to the new life of her baby, generously sacrificing her own. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and after the example of Gianna, inspire all mothers to welcome with love the sparkle of new life. Grant us the grace we are praying for {say your intentions} and the joy to find an inspiration in Saint Gianna who, as a model spouse and mother, after the example of Christ, gave up her life for the life of others. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


{novena source}
•     •     •

Please stop by again tomorrow to finish praying our novena, to celebrate the Feast of St. Gianna, and to learn a little something special about our sweet baby

Wishing you a very blessed Divine Mercy Sunday...
Saint John Paul II, pray for us.
Saint John XXIII, pray for us.




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Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Gianna Center for Women
& St. Gianna Novena {Day 7}

Today is the seventh day of our novena to ask St. Gianna Beretta Molla, patron saint of mothers, unborn children, and physicians, to pray for us. We will finish the novena on St. Gianna's feast day, Monday, April 28th. Whether you've been praying with us daily or you just stopped by today, I'd love for you to join us in prayer. 

As I mentioned on Tuesday, St. Gianna was a physician. I just love this quotation about her work as a Catholic doctor:
“Everyone works in the service of man. We doctors work directly on man himself... The great mystery of man is Jesus: 'He who visits a sick person, helps me,' Jesus said... Just as the priest can touch Jesus, so do we touch Jesus in the bodies of our patients... We have opportunities to do good that the priest doesn't have. Our mission is not finished when medicines are no longer of use. We must bring the soul to God; our word has some authority... Catholic doctors are so necessary!” - St. Gianna {source}
Yes! Catholic doctors are such a gift. I speak from experience. 


Inspired by St. Gianna, The Gianna Center for Women here in New York City provides care in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, all "with a deep commitment to honoring a woman’s dignity and the sanctity of human life." Praise God. I am so thankful to have found this place. It is here that Michael & I learned the Creighton Model of natural family planning, which has been such a gift to our marriage. I simply can't recommend Dr. Nolte and her team highly enough if you are anywhere in the area. What a blessing.

Do you have a Catholic doctor you think others in your area should know? Please share in the comments!

I invite you to share any intentions you have for this novena in the comments, too. In addition to your intentions, today I would like to pray for Catholic physicians - that they would have courage and support to remain faithful to the teachings of the Church in their work. Fill them with compassion, Lord, that inspired by the example of St. Gianna, they might see Jesus in each of their patients. Help us all to see Jesus in one another, Lord.
Our novena:

God, our Father, You have granted to Your church the gift of Gianna Beretta Molla. In her youth she lovingly sought You and drew other young people to You, involving them, through apostolic witness and Catholic Action, in the care of the sick and aged, to help and comfort them.

We thank You for the gift of this young woman, so deeply committed to You. Through her example grant us the grace to consecrate our lives to Your service, for the joy of our brothers and sisters. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

Jesus, Redeemer of mankind, You called Saint Gianna to exercise the medical profession as a mission for the comfort of bodies and souls. In her suffering fellow men and in the little ones, deprived of all support, she saw You. 

We thank You for having revealed Yourself to this servant as “one who serves” and who soothes the sufferings of men. Treasuring her example may we become generous Christians at the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those with whom You deign to share Your Cross.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

God, Sanctifying Spirit, who love the Church as Your Bride, You poured into the heart of Saint Gianna a share of Your Love so that she could radiate it in her family, and thus cooperate with You in the wonderful plan of creation, and give life to new children who could know and love You.
We thank You for this model wife and, through her encouraging witness, we beg You to grant to our families the serene and Christian presence of mothers committed to transform their homes into cenacles of faith and love, rich with generous activity and sanctifying service.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

O God, Creator and lover of mankind, You were close to Saint Gianna when, affected by illness, she was in the painful dilemma of choosing between her own life and the life of the child whom she was carrying in herself, a gift long-awaited. Trusting You alone, and aware of Your Commandment to respect human life, Gianna found the courage to do her duty as a mother and to say “yes” to the new life of her baby, generously sacrificing her own. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and after the example of Gianna, inspire all mothers to welcome with love the sparkle of new life. Grant us the grace we are praying for {say your intentions} and the joy to find an inspiration in Saint Gianna who, as a model spouse and mother, after the example of Christ, gave up her life for the life of others. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


{novena source}
•     •     •
Thanks so much for being here to pray. Have a blessed Saturday!




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Friday, April 25, 2014

7 Quick Takes {No. 14} & St. Gianna Novena {Day 6}

{1}
We are celebrating around here this week, friends! Why, you ask? Because on Wednesday, Michael passed his qualifying exams for his Ph.D. program! Woooooohoooo!! He spent hours and hours studying for these and I am just. SO. stinkin' proud of him. Way to go, love! Thank you, Lord!

{2}
Yesterday I found myself with two overripe bananas. Something needed to be done with them, and quickly. So...
Voila!
Banana Chocolate Chip bread! This recipe minus the walnuts, plus chocolate chips. #sorrynotsorry

{3}
While we're on the topic of delicious...I pinned this a few days ago:
{via}
Yep, that's strawberry, lime, cucumber & mint water. Doesn't that look refreshing? I'll let you know how it is when I try it. :)

{4}
This has been shared in several places around the Catholic blogosphere, but if you haven't yet seen SoulPancake's interview with Blythe about being Catholic, I highly recommend it.
It left me feeling inspired and happy to be a practicing Catholic (I like the term practicing because by no means am I perfect, but I am trying my best! Also - if you're interested, Kendra wrote a post today in response to some of the video's YouTube comments.)

{5}
If you've been by the blog in the last five days, you may know that we are in the middle of a novena to St. Gianna Beretta Molla. I have shared what I learned about her childhood, her vocation, and her experience as a mother. She is a wonderful intercessor for us! As promised, today I'm sharing a little on her canonization (for much more information, click here).

{6}
Gianna was canonized a saint on May 16, 2004. Her husband, Pietro, was present, marking the first time in the history of the Catholic Church that a husband witnessed his wife's canonization. I can't begin to imagine how that must have felt for him!

I'd love to share this short excerpt from Blessed (very-soon-to-be-Saint) John Paul II's homily from St. Gianna's canonization Mass.
Gianna Beretta Molla was a simple, but more than ever, significant messenger of divine love. In a letter to her future husband a few days before their marriage, she wrote: "Love is the most beautiful sentiment the Lord has put into the soul of men and women". Following the example of Christ, who "having loved his own... loved them to the end" (Jn 13: 1), this holy mother of a family remained heroically faithful to the commitment she made on the day of her marriage. The extreme sacrifice she sealed with her life testifies that only those who have the courage to give of themselves totally to God and to others are able to fulfill themselves. 
Through the example of Gianna Beretta Molla, may our age rediscover the pure, chaste and fruitful beauty of conjugal love, lived as a response to the divine call! 
Can I get an Amen?!

{7}
I'd be delighted if you would pray with me today. If you have any intentions you would like to pray for, please share them in the comments section.
Novena prayer:

God, our Father, You have granted to Your church the gift of Gianna Beretta Molla. In her youth she lovingly sought You and drew other young people to You, involving them, through apostolic witness and Catholic Action, in the care of the sick and aged, to help and comfort them.

We thank You for the gift of this young woman, so deeply committed to You. Through her example grant us the grace to consecrate our lives to Your service, for the joy of our brothers and sisters. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

Jesus, Redeemer of mankind, You called Saint Gianna to exercise the medical profession as a mission for the comfort of bodies and souls. In her suffering fellow men and in the little ones, deprived of all support, she saw You. 

We thank You for having revealed Yourself to this servant as “one who serves” and who soothes the sufferings of men. Treasuring her example may we become generous Christians at the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those with whom You deign to share Your Cross.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

God, Sanctifying Spirit, who love the Church as Your Bride, You poured into the heart of Saint Gianna a share of Your Love so that she could radiate it in her family, and thus cooperate with You in the wonderful plan of creation, and give life to new children who could know and love You.
We thank You for this model wife and, through her encouraging witness, we beg You to grant to our families the serene and Christian presence of mothers committed to transform their homes into cenacles of faith and love, rich with generous activity and sanctifying service.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

O God, Creator and lover of mankind, You were close to Saint Gianna when, affected by illness, she was in the painful dilemma of choosing between her own life and the life of the child whom she was carrying in herself, a gift long-awaited. Trusting You alone, and aware of Your Commandment to respect human life, Gianna found the courage to do her duty as a mother and to say “yes” to the new life of her baby, generously sacrificing her own. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and after the example of Gianna, inspire all mothers to welcome with love the sparkle of new life. Grant us the grace we are praying for {say your intentions} and the joy to find an inspiration in Saint Gianna who, as a model spouse and mother, after the example of Christ, gave up her life for the life of others. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


{novena source}
•     •     •
Thanks so much for praying. Only three days of our novena left!

And, as always - linking up these takes with Jen. I can hardly stand the wait for her book release
on Tuesday! Have you pre-ordered your copy?

Have a great Friday.




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Thursday, April 24, 2014

St. Gianna Novena {Day 5}
Her Children, Miscarriages & Final Sacrifice

Happy Thursday! Today is the fifth day of our novena to ask St. Gianna Beretta Molla, patron saint of mothers, unborn children, and physicians, to pray for us. We will finish the novena on St. Gianna's feast day, Monday, April 28th. Whether you've been praying with us daily or you just stopped by today, I'd love for you to join us in prayer. {For a little history of novenas see Sunday's post.} 

On Tuesday I shared about the meeting and marriage of Gianna & her husband, Pietro Molla. Gianna and Pietro were open to life and excited to try to start a family. They were blessed with Pierluigi in 1956, Mariolina in 1957, and Laura in 1959. 
Gianna, Pietro & family {source}
After three healthy pregnancies, Gianna suffered two miscarriages. In 1961, Gianna was pregnant once again, yet there was a complication: she had developed a large fibroid (benign tumor in the uterus). It caused her great pain and may have ended the pregnancy by compressing the fetus. A physician herself, Gianna knew the various risks and complications of this. She had three choices: a complete hysterectomy, an abortion, or removal of only the fibroid. [It may be of interest that Catholic teaching would have allowed the hysterectomy in this case: 
"Abortion – that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus – is never permitted...Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child." – The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, issued by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (5th ed., 2009), Directives 45 & 47]
In making her decision, Gianna said:
"Yes, I have prayed so much in these days. With faith and hope I have entrusted myself to the Lord... I trust in God, yes; but now it is up to me to fulfill my duty as a mother. I renew to the Lord the offer of my life. I am ready for everything, to save my baby." {source}
She chose the removal of only the fibroid. 

The operation was successful, though Gianna continued to experience complications for the remaining seven months of the pregnancy. On Good Friday, 1962, Gianna went into labor and her fourth child, Gianna Emanuela, was delivered via Caesarean section. After delivery, Gianna's health quickly declined and seven days later, on April 18, 1962, Gianna Beretta Molla died at the age of 39. 

What an amazing witness of Christ's love for the world. 

As always, please share any personal intentions you have for this novena in the comments. In addition to your intentions, today I would like to praise God for the blessing of a child. I pray that all parents would know and cherish the gift of every life. I pray for all couples who, like St. Gianna, and like my husband & me, have suffered miscarriage or pregnancy loss. Also, in this National Infertility Awareness Week, I pray for all couples experiencing infertility. Lord, bless your people according to your good and perfect will.

Novena prayer:

God, our Father, You have granted to Your church the gift of Gianna Beretta Molla. In her youth she lovingly sought You and drew other young people to You, involving them, through apostolic witness and Catholic Action, in the care of the sick and aged, to help and comfort them.

We thank You for the gift of this young woman, so deeply committed to You. Through her example grant us the grace to consecrate our lives to Your service, for the joy of our brothers and sisters. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

Jesus, Redeemer of mankind, You called Saint Gianna to exercise the medical profession as a mission for the comfort of bodies and souls. In her suffering fellow men and in the little ones, deprived of all support, she saw You. 

We thank You for having revealed Yourself to this servant as “one who serves” and who soothes the sufferings of men. Treasuring her example may we become generous Christians at the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those with whom You deign to share Your Cross.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

God, Sanctifying Spirit, who love the Church as Your Bride, You poured into the heart of Saint Gianna a share of Your Love so that she could radiate it in her family, and thus cooperate with You in the wonderful plan of creation, and give life to new children who could know and love You.
We thank You for this model wife and, through her encouraging witness, we beg You to grant to our families the serene and Christian presence of mothers committed to transform their homes into cenacles of faith and love, rich with generous activity and sanctifying service.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

O God, Creator and lover of mankind, You were close to Saint Gianna when, affected by illness, she was in the painful dilemma of choosing between her own life and the life of the child whom she was carrying in herself, a gift long-awaited. Trusting You alone, and aware of Your Commandment to respect human life, Gianna found the courage to do her duty as a mother and to say “yes” to the new life of her baby, generously sacrificing her own. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and after the example of Gianna, inspire all mothers to welcome with love the sparkle of new life. Grant us the grace we are praying for {say your intentions} and the joy to find an inspiration in Saint Gianna who, as a model spouse and mother, after the example of Christ, gave up her life for the life of others. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


{novena source}
•     •     •
Thanks so much for being here. Tomorrow I'll be sharing some personal updates in my 7 quick takes along with some information on the canonization of St. Gianna, and, of course - our novena prayers.




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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Favorites {No. 8} & St. Gianna Novena {Day 4}

On Sunday we started a novena to ask St. Gianna Beretta Molla, patron saint of mothers, unborn children, and physicians, to pray for us. We will finish the novena on St. Gianna's feast day, Monday, April 28th. Whether you've been praying with us daily or you're just dropping by today, I'd love for you to join us in prayer. {For a little history behind novenas see Sunday's post.} 

But before we get to today's novena prayers...it's Wednesday, and do you know what that means?
It's time for this week's Five Favorites with Miss Hallie (and more!). Today I am sharing five of my favorite quotations by St. Gianna. Here we go:

{1}

{2}

{3}

{4}

{5}

Aren't these wonderful? I found them to be not only inspiring, but also great thoughts to take to prayer. Which one is your favorite? 

I designed the graphics for these quotations in hopes that you might want to pin a few for future inspiration. Just hover your mouse over the quote and click the {pin me} button that appears.

And now for the novena prayers. Please feel free to share any intentions you have in the comments.
Please pray with me:

God, our Father, You have granted to Your church the gift of Gianna Beretta Molla. In her youth she lovingly sought You and drew other young people to You, involving them, through apostolic witness and Catholic Action, in the care of the sick and aged, to help and comfort them.

We thank You for the gift of this young woman, so deeply committed to You. Through her example grant us the grace to consecrate our lives to Your service, for the joy of our brothers and sisters. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

Jesus, Redeemer of mankind, You called Saint Gianna to exercise the medical profession as a mission for the comfort of bodies and souls. In her suffering fellow men and in the little ones, deprived of all support, she saw You. 

We thank You for having revealed Yourself to this servant as “one who serves” and who soothes the sufferings of men. Treasuring her example may we become generous Christians at the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those with whom You deign to share Your Cross.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

God, Sanctifying Spirit, who love the Church as Your Bride, You poured into the heart of Saint Gianna a share of Your Love so that she could radiate it in her family, and thus cooperate with You in the wonderful plan of creation, and give life to new children who could know and love You.
We thank You for this model wife and, through her encouraging witness, we beg You to grant to our families the serene and Christian presence of mothers committed to transform their homes into cenacles of faith and love, rich with generous activity and sanctifying service.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

O God, Creator and lover of mankind, You were close to Saint Gianna when, affected by illness, she was in the painful dilemma of choosing between her own life and the life of the child whom she was carrying in herself, a gift long-awaited. Trusting You alone, and aware of Your Commandment to respect human life, Gianna found the courage to do her duty as a mother and to say “yes” to the new life of her baby, generously sacrificing her own. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and after the example of Gianna, inspire all mothers to welcome with love the sparkle of new life. Grant us the grace we are praying for {say your intentions} and the joy to find an inspiration in Saint Gianna who, as a model spouse and mother, after the example of Christ, gave up her life for the life of others. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


{novena source}
•     •     •
Thanks for praying with me. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday. :)




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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

St. Gianna Novena {Day 3}
& the Vocation of Marriage

On Sunday we started a novena to ask St. Gianna Beretta Molla, patron saint of mothers, unborn children, and physicians, to pray for us. We will finish the novena on St. Gianna's feast day, Monday, April 28th. If you missed any of the other days of prayer, no worries! I'd love for you to join us in prayer today. {For a little history behind the novena prayer see Sunday's post.} 


In 1942, Gianna began her medical studies, specializing in pediatrics. Upon completing her studies, Gianna considered moving to Brazil to be with her brother who was there serving as a missionary priest. She soon discerned, however, to stay in Italy and open her own medical clinic. 

At a Catholic Action Mass in December 1954, Gianna met a man named Pietro Molla. They quickly became close friends, and just over four months later they were engaged. Gianna Beretta and Pietro Molla were married in September 1955 by Gianna's brother, Fr. Giuseppe. In reading about Gianna's life, I found the following story about their wedding ceremony: 
Gianna was dressed in a white satin gown with a tulle veil pinned at the nape of her neck. As Gianna began to walk down the aisle on the arm of her brother Ferdinando, everyone in the church was struck by her beauty and expressed their admiration with an applause that broke out through the quiet of the church. Gianna walking down the aisle tuned with her big wide-open eyes surprised at the response from her friends and family. 
Gianna and Pietro knelt together and promised to remain united to each other forever with the words of the vows of the Sacrament of Matrimony. They would soon show that the oath of love they made on that day would be stronger than any adversary, stronger even than death. 
Pietro later wrote Gianna:
“The memory returns of that sudden outburst of applause that began upon your entrance to the church that lasted until you reached the altar. Your brother, Giuseppe, who Saint [sic] our union, exhorted us to give witness to the Gospel and to holiness.” 
The happy couple took an extended honeymoon to Rome and all over Italy and Europe. Pietro wrote in a letter a few weeks after the wedding: 
“Her holy virtue, the gentle goodness and affection of Gianna, all her cares, give me the full joy and serenity which I asked of Jesus on my wedding day. With Gianna I am sure of forming a truly Christian family on which she will know how to draw the most beautiful heavenly graces… 
{source} 
Pietro & Gianna Molla on their wedding day
{source}
What a beautiful witness to the true vocation of marriage. A Catholic marriage is more than just a social or legal union; Catholic marriage is a response to a call from God. And those of us who have answered that call have a great responsibility: to love our spouse as the Lord first loved us, and to grow in holiness by God's grace in this often challenging and ultimately rewarding sacrament.

For our intention today, let's pray for all those who are still discerning their vocations, that they might be open to wherever God is leading them. I pray for all women & men who are called to the vocation of marriage, and for married couples, that like Gianna & Pietro we might "give witness to the Gospel and to holiness" in the way we live and love. And as always, we lift up each other's personal intentions for this novena (feel free to share yours in the comments).
Please pray with me:

God, our Father, You have granted to Your church the gift of Gianna Beretta Molla. In her youth she lovingly sought You and drew other young people to You, involving them, through apostolic witness and Catholic Action, in the care of the sick and aged, to help and comfort them.

We thank You for the gift of this young woman, so deeply committed to You. Through her example grant us the grace to consecrate our lives to Your service, for the joy of our brothers and sisters. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

Jesus, Redeemer of mankind, You called Saint Gianna to exercise the medical profession as a mission for the comfort of bodies and souls. In her suffering fellow men and in the little ones, deprived of all support, she saw You. 

We thank You for having revealed Yourself to this servant as “one who serves” and who soothes the sufferings of men. Treasuring her example may we become generous Christians at the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those with whom You deign to share Your Cross.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

God, Sanctifying Spirit, who love the Church as Your Bride, You poured into the heart of Saint Gianna a share of Your Love so that she could radiate it in her family, and thus cooperate with You in the wonderful plan of creation, and give life to new children who could know and love You.
We thank You for this model wife and, through her encouraging witness, we beg You to grant to our families the serene and Christian presence of mothers committed to transform their homes into cenacles of faith and love, rich with generous activity and sanctifying service.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

O God, Creator and lover of mankind, You were close to Saint Gianna when, affected by illness, she was in the painful dilemma of choosing between her own life and the life of the child whom she was carrying in herself, a gift long-awaited. Trusting You alone, and aware of Your Commandment to respect human life, Gianna found the courage to do her duty as a mother and to say “yes” to the new life of her baby, generously sacrificing her own. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and after the example of Gianna, inspire all mothers to welcome with love the sparkle of new life. Grant us the grace we are praying for {say your intentions} and the joy to find an inspiration in Saint Gianna who, as a model spouse and mother, after the example of Christ, gave up her life for the life of others. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


{novena source}
•     •     •
I'm so glad you stopped by to pray with me. I hope you'll come back tomorrow for day four of the novena, and five of my favorite St. Gianna quotations!




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